Published Aug 01, 2005Noted video artist Miranda July makes the jump to features with this misfit rom-com, and the push-pull between the two aesthetic milieus makes it a pretty satisfying mash-up.
July casts herself to type as a struggling video artist who can't get a gallery and works as a driver for senior citizens; she seems to have found her mate in baffled shoe salesman John Hawkes, but can't seem to get his attention. Hawkes has his own problems, such as raising two boys from his failed marriage, but his shame and obliviousness are no match for this woman.
Not a complex synopsis, but July has other things on her mind than plot: the details are the thing, with some very astute observations on the nature of loneliness and the denials involved in dealing with it. While nobody is going to mistake this for avant-garde radicalism, one can clearly see its roots in academic art; the film essentially gets its characters to do the kind of work that July would do on her own, and offers some refreshingly shame-free evocations on teen and pre-teen sexuality that could only have come up through the theoretical underbrush.
Though she sometimes veers in the direction of one of those faux indie quirk machines of the '90s (and occasionally vents some irrelevant steam about the art world), July redeems herself with authentic sensibility. She's genuinely interested in exploring the roots of people's approaches to tenderness, and not just spilling unexamined guts from the stomach of a failed romance.
Though scaled small, Me and You and Everyone We Know knows the epic emotions that come without instructions and shows that even "little" people feel them as much as anyone. (Alliance Atlantis)