ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (2005)
Several interlocking stories about love, sexual awakening and innocence lost in suburban Los Angeles
WHY I LOVE IT
Putting it mildly, Miranda July is an …. acquired taste. She’s a performance artist who specializes in the odd and peculiar things in life. She approaches her material with a childlike wonder, whether in book form, on stage, online or in movies. Me and You and Everyone We Know is her first feature and it’s a rapturous event that had me feeling alive, hopeful, and just fuzzy all over.
Within 15 minutes, you’ll know if this film is going to work for you or not. But if you stick with it, you may find yourself sort of falling in love with these characters, including July as a cab driver for the elderly who likes to meddle in her passengers’ lives. She’s also a performance artist who merges multimedia platforms to create love as art. She has an emotional connection with a local shoe salesman (the great John Hawkes, in a complete 180 from his sinister-creepy turn in the recent Martha Marcy May Marlene), who is sort of going through a mid-life shake-up of his own. His two young boys, meanwhile, are looking for love in all of the wrong places (they engage in an online chat with an anonymous woman about, of all things, poop). The older brother donates his body for “science” as he allows two girls to practice their oral sex skills on him. Those girls, by the way, are oddly entranced by a neighbor who happens to be a wanna-be pedophile.
The film may sound raunchy or hardcore but it’s far from it, really. It’s just odd and precious, gentle and sweet, random and just a little bit dirty. Most of all, it’s simply enchanting. It resonated with me. Me and You and Everyone We Know is a one of a kind, and I’m certain I’ll never see anything quite like it.