Me and You and Everyone We Know
By: Rachel Ogle
It was a Friday afternoon and I was in the mood for being lazy, eating peanut butter out of the jar, and watching a movie. My friend mentioned something to me earlier that day about Me and You and Everyone We Know, a film written by, directed, and starring Miranda July that came out in 2005. I actually watched it with my family when it first came out and remembered liking it (probably a poor decision by my parents, given that I was twelve, and the movie’s content isn’t the most kid friendly in the world) but not much else about it. I liked the movie so much the second time around that I dedicated this week’s column to gushing about it.
I think the best description for Me and You and Everyone We Know is quirky and like nothing else out there. I learned this from the very opening scene. Richard, a shoe salesman who is recently separated from his wife and in the process of moving out, goes outside and knocks on the bedroom window where his two boys are sitting inside. In a desperate effort to impress and entertain them, he pours lighter fluid on his hand and sets it on fire. Yes, really.
The other protagonist is Christine, a single woman who does performance art and has a company called “Elder Cab” on the side (exactly what it sounds like—she’s a taxi service for old people). Christine desperately wants to be in love. One day, when she drives a client to the mall to go shoe shopping, she interacts with Richard. Key word: interacts; as in polite, normal conversation a salesman has with a customer. Christine begins mildly stalking Richard, coming to the mall and aimlessly browsing while observing him. Christine seems like a total loon, at one point putting socks on her ears in the middle of the store. Against all odds, Richard takes a liking to Christine, asking her out for coffee and eventually to come over and meet his sons.
I think the reason I like the film so much is the complexity of the characters. There are a lot of small stories and different characters within the film that weave the movie together (Richard’s sons, Robby and Peter; the neighbor girl Sylvie; experimental best friends Heather and Rebecca; Richard’s co-worker, and an art curator). Miranda July somehow is able to make each of these characters distinct, interesting, and complex. Me and You and Everyone We Know feels like real life: weird people, crappy situations, a whole lot of awkwardness, and ambiguous endings.
Here’s a link to one of my favorite clips from the movie: It\’s Spinning From the Metal