Me and You and Everyone We Know
To me this creative artsy indie comedy is about as close you can come to a perfect and complete film. This is my fifth time watching it and I can confidently say it’s in my top ten favorite films of all time but I am apparently not alone. Roger Ebert said it was the best film at the Sundance festival in 2006 and recently listed it as one of his top ten films of the decade.
Me and You and Everyone We Know centers around a quirky and lonely artist named Christine Jesperson (Miranda July) who works as an elderly cab driver. While she is transporting a client they end up in a shoe store where Christine meets a newly single shoe salesman. Her immediate fascination is evident but his is not so much. He is going through a divorce and has fear of losing his children. They seem to have become isolated from him from the recent divorce. Richard eventually warms up to the idea of being with Christine but did he wait too long?
Miranda July directed, wrote and stars in this indie film. I absolutely adore her character, she is a perfect fit. The first time watching I thought to myself, what an amazing casting decision (little did I know she was the one that directed/wrote it). This exact thing also happened to me during the film Garden State. She earned two nominations at the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Screenplay and Best First Feature.
This holds true for all of the characters in the movie, each one seems perfect for their role. There is a little bit of everything in Me and You and Everyone We Know, from a creepy middle-age pedophile to the dying elderly to young children and art directors, each with their own unique personality. Perhaps representing different stages of life.
There are a few theories to what the movie is ultimately about, but what I get from the movie is the notion of, “Enjoy your time and don’t waste life”. This is evident in one of the opening lines of the movie that goes, “I’m going to live each day as if it were our last….and its life and it’s happening right now”. Also when the goldfish is stuck on the top of the vehicle, Christine says, “Let’s just enjoy the time we have left together”. Or when the father is talking about time outs, “There are no time-outs, there’s not enough time for… time-out.” And finally at the end when the guy is tapping the coin in the pole and says, “I’m just passing the time”.
But it’s also about what keeps us from being able to be connected. In the scene where Christine is in the elevator she wants to hand the art director her film but rather than just accepting it from her, she says that she needed to send it in the mail, otherwise it will get lost.
With love being a common theme that all characters share, another theory could be about the hardship people have to connect to one another. Christine’s attraction to Richard is rather obvious after his failed relationship with his ex-wife. Although the art director’s life seems complete and admirable to Christine, her life is missing love, which is seeks for with help of the internet. Richard’s co-worker knows it’s wrong to go after the younger girls but that doesn’t stop him from playful banter. The neighbor’s girl is completely focused on being a homemaker with her hope chest of matching bath towels and interest in kitchen appliances, odd to by that domesticated at the age of 10. Richard’s youngest boy is having a bizarre internet romance with a stranger, perhaps to fill the void of his mother no longer being a part of his life. The younger girls are curious about their sexuality and convince Peter to help them out. Which leads to a controversial scene involving a sexual situation with children but it’s not as bad as some people claim. It’s fairly innocent and is fueled by curiosity in which all adolescents go through.
One scene that bluntly shows love and relationship is when Christine and Richard walk down the street together after meeting each other. It’s brought up that the block they are walking down represents their lives. After the first few steps he says that this is now the beginning of a relationship where no one is sick of each other yet. By the end of their block they will be at the end of their lives.
The characters and the meaning are not the only things that were very well done, so is the soundtrack. It was spot on. I think it really completed the film as it helps the flow of transitioning between scenes and it just genuinely fits the overall mood of the film.
The only negative thing I can think of about this movie was one scene. After the two main characters share a walk together and she tries to catch a ride with him and he denies her by telling her to get out. I don’t think that scene had any real importance and could probably have done without. But that is being completely overcritical considering it’s only about a three minute scene.
I don’t think Me and You and Everyone We Know is for everyone, especially for mainstream acceptance. For most people will be hit or miss, you completely love it or completely hate it. If you enjoy independent films, this is an absolute don’t miss.