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DVD Pick: "Me and You and Everyone We Know"

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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"Me and You and Everyone We Know" (2005) is the debut feature-length film of writer-director Miranda July, who had previously achieved prominence in the art world as a performance and video artist. When I watched this movie on DVD, I found it to be humanistic and accessible, as well as a work of beguiling originality.

I would characterize "Me and You" as a theme-driven film, where I see the theme as how contemporary suburbanites struggle to make connections that will help them deal with their loneliness. But in terms of mood, the movie unexpectedly left me feeling upbeat.

However, I should warn you that if you demand Hollywood-style plot and character development, you probably won't find "Me and You" satisfying. Also, be advised that the film treats human sexuality in ways that are unsettling. The movie is R-rated, and for good reason.

The film chronicles interrelated incidents in the lives of a dozen characters, including shoe salesman Richard Swersey (John Hawkes from HBO's "Deadwood") and his two sons, ages seven and fourteen. Richard marks the breakup of his marriage with an outlandish ritual-like act that leaves his hand in a bandage for most of the movie.

Another key character is Christine Jesperson (Miranda July), an unmarried childless woman who makes a living by providing taxi service for the elderly. But her passion is creating videos, and she is trying to get her work exhibited at the local Center for Contemporary Art.

Although the film doesn't have a conventional narrative structure, I think it does maintain a certain forward drive through its interwoven story threads. Among these are: (1) Christine's attempts to get into a romantic relationship with the reluctant Richard; (2) her efforts to create art and have it seen by the public; (3) a disturbing thread involving Richard's sons in an Internet chat room; and (4) an edgy thread about a pair of girls trying to come to terms with their budding sexuality.

In "Me and You and Everyone We Know," Miranda July found a playful and poetic way of expressing her unique vision. I like the way she creates sympathetic characters who deal with the world awkwardly and lays bare their innermost desires. However, I admit that the movie is pretty far removed from mainstream filmmaking, and I expect many viewers will find it too low-keyed.

On DVD, "Me and You and Everyone We Know" comes with only one bonus material: six deleted scenes with a total running time of seven-and-a-half minutes. I didn't find any of them worth watching.

Below I've listed all the details for the "Me and You and Everyone We Know" DVD.

DVD Details:

Release Date: October 11, 2005
Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1), Color
Feature Film Run Time: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
MPAA Rating: R for Disturbing Sexual Content Involving Children and for Language
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Subtitles
Deleted Scenes (6, totaling 7 min. 29 sec.)

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