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flick pick | Me and You and Everyone We Know 2005
Directed + written by: Miranda July
Starring: John Hawkes, Miranda July, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: drama, comedy
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something:  darkly comic, whimsical
The critic says: / 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: /5 

Plot synopsis Things haven't been looking so good for shoe salesman Richard Swersey. His wife has recently kicked him out, and he's had to move into a dive-y little apartment that's barely big enough for him, never mind his two sons as well. Richard's a bit of a psychological mess and decidedly down on his luck; still, he's determined to keep his eyes on the horizon, waiting for something amazing to come his way. That something comes in the form of an adorably eccentric woman who walks into his store one day, sporting ill-fitting shoes that rub her skin raw, a pain she accepts as a problem with her ankles rather than the footwear itself. Her name is Christine Jesperson, and like Richard, she's a lonely, misunderstood creature who seems to spend a lot of time in her own head. Christine runs a driving service for the elderly -- on the day she comes into Richard's shoe department, she's actually helping her favorite client buy a snazzy new pair of running shoes -- but her real passion is for art. She makes quirky videos that she bravely submits to the snooty local contemporary art gallery, thus far, with no success. The attraction between Richard and Christine is immediate, but getting together proves more difficult. As it turns out, Richard and Christine aren't the only ones having problems connecting with others. Richard's two kids, teenaged Peter and six-year-old Robby, spend most of their time fooling around in online chat rooms, where they've been talking with a stranger who may or may not be an older woman, and who definitely seems eager to develop a relationship with their online persona after Robby makes an unusual proposition. At the same time, Richard's coworker has started a disturbing flirtation with two rather forward teenaged girls; after they come on to him one afternoon, he starts leaving them increasingly explicit messages taped up to his window, which they eagerly look for each day as they saunter past his apartment. Like Christine and Richard, all these folks are struggling to reach out from their lonely inner worlds -- to make a real connection, to find that elusive something that means they can stop feeling so alone.

Review It always strikes me as strange how movie critics seem to hate most of the movies they watch. I guess I'm not a real movie critic; I happen to like quite a lot of the movies that I see. This, of course, is why I watch so many of them. Still, I swear I do have standards. In fact, it's a pretty rare movie that strikes me as so different, so captivating, so lovely, that immediately after watching it I think: wow, I want to watch that again. Right. Now. Off the top of my head, I can think of The Royal Tenenbaums. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And now, Me and You and Everyone We Know  -- which is nothing like either of those movies, except that it's weird, and wonderful, and I'm completely in love with it. This is just one of the sweetest movies I've seen in ages, which is maybe a strange thing to say about a movie in which the possibility of pedophilia is a definite undercurrent. The seamy dark side, though, turns out to exist only in our own dirty twisted minds; the teens are actually sexual in a way that feels pretty appropriate to their ages, the adults generally know that lines need to be drawn, and July's world is suffused with a dreamy innocence that renders the most potentially iffy situation completely benign, even touching. It's a little like seeing the world through the eyes of a really bright child, and makes you realize how beautiful and funny and amazing even the most mundane little actions can be when we're not being cynical, cool grown-ups determined to see danger at every turn. This is not to say that the film is full of sunny naiveté; the people in July's offbeat little film are unhappy, and lonely, and having a terrible time changing either of these states. Me and You and Everyone We Know wins you over by offering hope in the face of sadness, gentle optimism that's for real. —reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun

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