Me and You and Everyone We Know is a wonderful and original feature film debut by performance artist and writer/director Miranda July. The movie tells the stories of a handful of people who are loosely interconnected, each story looking at how their character seeks to fulfill their desires (and fantasies) for connection. Visually, the movie is colorful and pace is gentle, which somehow subtly add to the build up of pleasant feelings toward these real feeling characters.
The painful desires of the main characters for connection (a father for his sons, a lonely artist for love) are perhaps the most universal themes people might connect with. The conection between the father and sons doesn't quite happen with a great resolution or release, but that in a sense made it more realistic. A lot more happens in the love story, on the other hand, and its enjoyable to watch unfold. It's an awkward courting dance that reminded me of that wonderful cop and junkie relationship in Magnolia. I haven't felt myself cheering inwardly for characters to get what they desire as much as I had for these two. These characters are innocent and worthy of getting what they desire.
The naivete of the desires of the children, on the other hand, are a bit frightening, as the realization of those desires could be quite a bit dangerous in the real world. But July somehow makes them innocent, funny and sweet. (Conservatives and folks without a liberal sense of humor be warned, story lines here include online chat, teen sexuality, and stalking among other things.) Ultimately, that naivete makes for very endearing situations and spotlights some of the younger actor's talent. The performance of the youngest character (Robby) steals the show.
What I loved most about the movie was that directness and quirkiness of the characters seemed very natural to me and made their performances sympathetic and enchanting. In the end, each of them was waiting for something to happen, and the message July is sending us seems to be that each person can be lost in their own way, but when they're open to it, wonderful things can happen. Seems like the saccharine message you might get in a feel good Hollywood film, right? But in July's hand's it's not only believable, you want it to happen and you won't be insulted if it does.
Why Macaroni? You'll know when you see it.