Me And You And Everyone We Know Movie Review

Me And You And Everyone We Know Movie Review
Cast: Miranda July, John Hawkes, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, Natasha Slayton, Najarra Townsend, Hector Elias, Tracy Wright, Brad Henke, JoNell Kennedy
Director: Miranda July
Screenplay: Miranda July
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Rated: R 18+ high level themes
Running Time: 90 Minutes

Performance artist Miranda July's debut feature film, 'Me And You And Everyone We Know', is a charming, quirky romantic comedy that is entertaining from start to finish. Writer-director July stars as Christine, an offbeat performance artist who becomes instantly smitten with Richard (John Hawkes), a brooding department-store shoe salesman who is having trouble dealing with his divorce and his separation from his two kids--the shy, private Peter (Miles Thompson) and the very funny Robby (Brandon Ratcliff). Christine is trying to get her latest work accepted at a major museum, but first she has to get through mean-spirited Nancy (Tracy Wright), who is not necessarily very interested in her submission. Meanwhile, Natasha Slayton and Najarra Townsend are a riot as a pair of teenagers who think they're ready for sex as they tease neighbourhood pervert Andrew (Brad Henke) and consider experimenting with Peter.

My Verdict:
Christine Jesperson (Miranda July) works as cab driver for the elderly, but her real passion is as a performance artist. She is desperate to have one of her artistic works assessed at the local art college but without much success. She meets a man, Richard (John Hawkes), working in the shoe department at a store and becomes almost obsessed with pursuing some sort of relationship with him. The problem with Richard is that he is newly separated from his wife and two children and sees Christine as a threat and so is reluctant to respond to Christine. He is so uncomfortable with himself that his idea of entertaining his sons is to set his hand on fire with lighter fluid.

Richard has two sons, Peter (Miles Thompson) and Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) who spend much of their time using the internet, including chat rooms. One of these chat room sessions becomes sordid as the young Robby conducts a conversation with an unknown person and he naively answers truthfully, unaware of the real meaning of his words. Added to these characters are two teenage girls, Natasha and Najarra, who love to humiliate Peter and verbally taunt Richard's neighbour and co-worker Andrew (Brad Henke).

A fascinating and amusing character study, 'Me And You And Everyone We Know' does contain some confronting and unsettling issues including Robby using a chat room unsupervised and the implications that arise - he ends up meeting his online "friend" in a park, and there is another almost comical scene when Natasha and Najarra decide to test their oral sex skills on Peter.

Refreshingly different, purposely raw and peculiar in a funny sort of way, 'Me And You And Everyone We Know' is probably far more realistic than it initially appears as the characters weave their way through a maze of emotions and situations, trying desperately to give their lives meaning. It may touch a nerve with some for its brutal honesty but its tenderness and sincerity set it apart and it therefore shouldn't be avoided. Miranda July has certainly found her vehicle for her performing art.

Rating : ***

Christina Bruce


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