This film is adorable!
Miranda July’s first feature film is about loneliness and sexuality and navigating life from a childish perspective, making everything magical.
The potential romance is between Christine (Miranda July), a video artist who supports herself as an “Eldercab” driver while waiting for her big breakthrough, and Richard (John Hawkes), who is a shoe salesperson who recently got separated with his wife. The childlike innocence and sweetness in their story hint at the desire to live in a fairytale.
In contrast to the childish romance of the adults, the children curiously and boldly explore their sexuality. The delicate subject of pedophilia couldn’t have put on screen more blissfully. Two teenage girls seduce an adult neighbor, which in the end, becomes more of a competition among the two. Richard’s six-year-old son (super cute) finds himself in an internet romance. The chat room allows his childish words to become expressions of a kinky fetish. Watching those scenes of him chatting with the perverted stranger is an absolute delight.
There is also a ten-year-old girl who is obsessed with kitchen appliances. She passionately collects these items in her hope chest while dreaming of the day she will become a housewife and use all of them. Her character could be a mockery of appropriated gender roles, but the fact that she is wrestling for her passion inspires and commands respect.
July fills the scenes with familiar details from real life, which amplifies the authenticity of the characters. For instance, Christine likes to press and feel the objects, like the embossed sticker in Richard’s car. Richard, on the other hand, doesn’t care if his younger son paints the framed picture, but he can’t tolerate it when his older son shakes his leg while sitting on the couch.
The film inspires the viewer for a playful approach to navigating life through the contrast between adults and children. The older characters who are supposed to know life better seem lost, whereas the younger characters show bravery and passion toward the things that matter for them. The digital life drags the adults to loneliness, yet it brings the two brothers closer.
There is almost a short film within the film, and it is touching as well as hilarious. While Christine is driving an old man in her cab, they notice a goldfish left on the top of a car in its plastic bag. A father had bought the fish for his daughter but forgot to bring it in the car. They soon realize that these are the last moments of the fish, as it will fall off and die once the vehicle stops. Christine says a prayer and lets the fish know that it was loved and cared for, before the car stops and breaks everyone’s hearts.
Me and You and Everyone We Know is a lovely film that won prizes in Cannes and at Sundance Film Festival. The themes are from everyday life, but July’s approach is original, playful, and creative. Also, I guarantee you will have an “Aaaww” moment when you hear the title outspoken in the film.