Christine: It’s life… and it’s happening… it’s really, really happening… right… now…
Did you see this coming? I didn’t. It was a gift. Miranda July’s directorial debut is like a hug from an old friend, letting you know that, in spite of your quirks and eccentricities and hangups (and more likely because of them), you are loved, that you are someone’s favorite person, that no one belongs here more than you. Me and You and Everyone You Know was, for me, a most pleasant surprise.
Beautiful, poignant, poetic, whimsical… I’m not even sure I can truly express what this film is about any better than the quote above. It’s about life as we know it, the way we experience the modern world both as individuals and as members of society, the connections we make. I’m not going to go into plot or characters or any of that. All I’m going to say is that you should see this film. Everyone in it is wonderful. John Hawkes, Brad William Henke, and Ellen Geer are the only real “names” you might recognize, but the cast of unknowns is remarkable, particularly young Brandon Ratcliff. There’s something wonderfully naturalistic about all the performances that makes the sometimes unconventional circumstances so genuine.
July creates such richly specific moments with her characters that you often feel almost voyeuristic, especially in some of the scenes with the children. She seems unafraid to put it all out there, and thus she presents some unceremoniously frank interactions most filmmakers would avoid like the plague. Some of these moments are slightly reminiscent of Todd Solondz films, but July handles these delicate scenes with such care, aiming for truth with more innocent youthful curiosity rather aiming for out-and-out provocation.
Unapologetically honest, Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know is a brilliantly simple film. Quirky…quixotic…silly…serious… July is unafraid to offer unfiltered observations of the world around her that are uniquely her own. Me and You and Everyone We Know seems to be a film without an agenda. It’s just a casual observation, not so much a commentary or a criticism, but a contribution… like a dear friend saying, “Isn’t it funny how life is like that sometimes…” and it is… life is funny. And sometimes we need to be reminded. I’m thankful for Miranda July’s reminder.