me and you and everyone we know (2005)

by zEke

me and you and everyone we know posterMiranda July is an artist, an American artist in a multimedia world, I would say. An artist that expresses herself in many languages. Performance artist, actress, writer, that is her. And after me and you and everyone we know, her first and only feature film so far, also a peculiar independent filmmaker. Truth is, if you take a look at her work, you will notice she has a very particular style, and essentially simple at the same time. Go and check the website she put together to promote her book of short stories no one belongs here more than you (2007), for an example.

She writes and directs, and also portrays Christine Jesperson, a wannabe video artist that works as a taxi driver for elder people. While driving around one of her costumers she meets Richard Swersey (John Hawkes), a shoe salesman who has just separated from his wife and has to take care of his two children half of the time. Although the main plot of the movie focuses on her awkward relationship it consists of several subplots involving a wide variety of characters, in the line of movies like crash (2004), but with much less pretensions and in a little neighborhood rather than a big city: a six year old kid’s internet relationship, the sexual emancipation of two teenager girls through the interaction with a man that fantasizes with them, the true love an old man finds when both their lives are already gone, and so on.

The story is about connectiveness, connectiveness between people that, one way or another, have developed a lack of social tact. Every single character in the movie seem extracted from a biased sample towards authentic, if not freak, people. And this fact is both, the appeal and the drawback of the movie. Appeal because sometimes, that leads them towards funny, fresh, and closely awkward situations, even though their lives are full of bittersweetness. Drawback because sometimes they turn as well to be creepy, disturbing, and sick, to a point that it is difficult to empathize with them and thus, the feeling of indifference, or even rejection, the viewer experiences is inevitable.

Everything along the hour and a half the movie lasts is just correct, if not mediocre, and will not be remembered by many. Nevertheless, there are a few moments that are weirdly amusing, like when all of a sudden an unfortunate goldfish becomes the unexpected protagonist of the action, or when the ingenuity of a naive child splash a lonely adult right in her face. Among the cast, Miranda July, who might be too pretty for the character she accurately plays, and the enchanting child Brandon Ratcliff, who plays Swersey’s younger son, all innocence, stand up.

Overall, a poetic attempt to portray how difficult it is for some people to open up in a world that paradoxically grows smaller and smaller. And I say an attempt, because despite the freshness of the project, it is also a victim of that difficulty, and fails at opening up to those who are not that familiar with this kind of cinema.

For the deadhours of those who cry when their goldfish pass away.

deadrate: δair

official site | imdb

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