I recently saw a movie so mind-bending and raw that I want to watch it again, and again. And again. I want to talk about it with all of my friends — and see looks of astonishment on their faces, and then force them into watching it, too. Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know (released in 2005) is quite possibly my new favorite film. And that’s a huge ladder to climb up with me. What is it about, you ask? It’s about me, and you, and everyone we know….that’s it. Someone once told me that the true mark of someone’s character isn’t how they handle themselves in a crisis, but what they do in their every day life.
In some ways, the film is a less in-your-face, Hollywood version of Crash, because all of the characters are seemingly connected through each other on a strand, in certain ways. Sometimes we’re pretending, copying, resisting, aching. And each character in Me and You… are doing so in privately exposed moments. When separated and spliced apart, each scene feels very dream-like. You begin to ask yourself questions: is this how life truly is? Why is she wearing socks on her ears? Does this child have a speech impediment problem? Am I hallucinating? Should I be on drugs? It all seems so far out because, well, it sort of is. But at the core of the film is something very plain. If someone filmed me sitting here typing this article, the audience would be watching a girl leaning over an ottoman, her back completely parallel to her knees, with a strange look on her face. To me, this is my life, this is what I do. I don’t stop to look at it. But to the outsider, it’s odd. It makes no sense.
My favorite scene involves Miranda’s character filming her feet. She is wearing a pair of faded pastel pink flats that she’s adorned with black Sharpee to read “You” and “Me” on the toe of each shoe. Well, yes, I know. There’s a picture of it above these words. Anyway, the score swells and fades delicately and playfully, then sadly, as she motions her feet to and fro, towards each other and away from each other, back to each other, and then one moving towards the other, and vice versa. Nothing cinematically has ever captured the human relationship more beautifully than that. Gets me every time. The closing scene in the film is also very poignant in regard to time and the way we waste it and pass it and make it. This is the part where I spoil the whole movie. So do’t read any further if you want to watch it.
The little boy (with the possible speech impediment) is at a crosswalk where a man is tapping a coin against the stop sign. Now, this sound has been playing sporadically throughout the film, but it’s never clarified. The boy asks the man what he’s doing, and the man says he’s just passing the time. He hands the boy his coin and walks away, and the boy takes it in his hand and does the same thing the man was doing. As he does this — the sun moves lower and lower into the sky, as time is moving forward, faster and faster. And scene. Do you ever finish watching a film and sit there for a few minutes with your mouth hanging open? That was me. Open mouthed, and impressed. I realize this is a poor description of the film. I don’t want to review it, though. The random obscurities the film places together are better left for your own eyes.
Life is real and, yes it is happening right now. But you didn’t know that. None of us did.