A lonely shoe salesman and an eccentric performance artist struggle to connect in this unique take on contemporary life.
Release Year: 2005
Rating: 7.4/10 (21,167 voted)
Critic's Score: 76/100
Stars: John Hawkes, Miranda July, Miles Thompson
'Me and You and Everyone We Know' is a poetic and penetrating observation of how people struggle to connect with one another in an isolating and contemporary world. Christine Jesperson is a lonely artist and "Eldercab" driver who uses her fantastical artistic visions to draw her aspirations and objects of desire closer to her. Richard Swersey, a newly single shoe salesman and father of two boys, is prepared for amazing things to happen. But when he meets the captivating Christine, he panics. Life is not so oblique for Richard's six-year-old Robby, who is having a risqué Internet romance with a stranger, and his fourteen-year-old brother Peter who becomes the guinea pig for neighborhood girls — practicing for their future of romance and marriage.
Brad William Henke
Release Date: 19 August 2005
Filming Locations: Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $30,801
(19 June 2005)
(16 October 2005)
Did You Know?
Characters refer to "Laurelhurst" (misspelled on the computer screen as "Laurelhearst") and "Burnside". Both are notable areas in Portland, Oregon, where writer/director Miranda July used to live. Christine also receives a cellphone call identified as "M & F Dept Store" which probably stands for "Meier & Frank."
When Richard is gluing the mirror onto the makeup container, you see him unscrew the cap and apply the "shoe goo". In the next angle, the cap for the goo has magically screwed itself back on.
I just wish I had met her 50 years sooner.
But then maybe I needed 70 years of life to be ready for a woman like Ellen.
Back and forth, forever
Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" might be the most
miraculous first fiction feature by an American in 3 or 4 years; it's
rivaled only by Andrew Bujalski's "Funny Ha Ha." Christine (July)
stalks the recently separated Richard (John Hawkes), who would try
anything to impress his kids, and gets third degree burns for his
trouble. His elder son, Peter (Miles Thompson) longs for connections
that go beyond instant gratification, while the younger Robby (Brandon
Ratcliff) gets all the funniest lines, mostly copied and pasted from
"Me and You" is about the act of pretending and about performance as
life, but first of all it's about extremely likable characters played
by likable actors, foremost among them July herself, whose Carole
Lombard-meets-Laurie Anderson deep ditz may be a complex stack of masks
upon masks, but is more likely just the way she is.
The movie is notable for what isn't in it – both malice and pain are
almost absent. Removing malice – July's world is one in which a kid can
safely walk alone through some seedy parts of Los Angeles – is
unfashionable, brave and, given the gentle tone of the piece,
necessary. But the absence of pain isn't intentional: July would like
us to feel the loneliness of the characters. But their isolation is
more a trait of their personalities than a source of suffering. In this
respect, the movie is perhaps too glossy for its own good. There's one
excellent exception, revolving around a granddaughter's photo by an
elderly woman's bedside, which becomes a substitute for a shared life
that dissolved too soon.
The scene that everyone picks out is the walk to Tyrone Street. Richard
and Christine decide the walk to the intersection will stand in for the
relationship they're not having: first the unrelieved joy of being
together, then the getting bored with each other, then the fighting and
the split. Only they keep chatting flirtily, about whether the walk
represents a year and a half or twenty, until they get to the corner,
and then we wonder how they can possibly go their separate ways.
Although this is as great as anything in the first 75 minutes of
"Before Sunset," its emphasis is much more on romantic comedy than the
rest of the movie. There are more typical scenes that approach this
quality. A goldfish on the roof of a car. A child running his fingers
through a woman's hair. A picture of a bird in a tree, in a tree. And
the ending, where it seems human actions are motivating the sunrise.
The scene I consider the finest is a quiet one: Sylvie (Carlie
Westerman), a tween spending her childhood preparing for life as a
homemaker, gets a gift from Peter: a plush bird. ("It's for your
daughter.") It would be unusual merely for depicting a platonic
friendship between kids of different genders and different ages. But
it's remarkable for crystallizing what it seems every filmmaker is
trying to say these days: that there's something to be gained from
thinking like a child. Through July's lens, it doesn't seem like a
regression: no redundant literalization of fantasy is necessary. The
achievement of "Me and You and Everyone We Know" is to show how the
mundane moments of our lives can be mundanely transformed by