Macaroni

July 15, 2009

It has taken me some time to properly digest the strangely textured morsel that is the film Me and You and Everyone We Know. It is difficult to talk about in general terms because it is so layered, with interwoven narratives that are each worthy of attention. So first, I wanted to determine what the ontological center of the movie is, the point around which all other actions rotate, and after much contemplation I have decided that it is the extremely odd love story between the male and female leads. It was probably an obvious choice to anyone but me; I had seen one storyline separately prior to seeing the movie as a whole, so my judgment was tainted. And in a way, the movie is about all kinds of love stories, not just that one. But maybe I am getting ahead of myself.

The main character is an aspiring performance artist, or perhaps an audiovisual artist given that her work is recorded on camera rather than performed live. Her day job is to drive elderly people around, namely an adorable man who wants to visit his ailing girlfriend. Her love interest is a shoe salesman in a nameless department store who has recently separated from his wife and shares custody of his two sons, who themselves have their own narrative arcs. Supporting characters, if they can be called such, include two teenage girls engaging in an increasingly risque flirtation with a much older man (shoe salesman’s coworker and neighbor), the curator of the modern art museum to which the main character submits her work, and a young neighbor and schoolmate who is obsessed with collecting housewares for her hope chest.

As I said, I think at its core the movie is about love. But sometimes it is about sex, and self-discovery, and reaching out to connect with people because to shut oneself off is to lose something essential that makes us human. Sometimes it is about poop, and I suspect there is a metaphor in there somewhere, but I am still working on figuring that one out. Sometimes it is about the conflicting desires of young people to engage in adult sexual behavior, and adults to recapture a lost innocence and sense of wonder in their intimate relationships. In a way, all of these things can be considered different facets of love, and so I’m sticking with that as the central theme.

It is a great movie, but it is a weird one, so I’m not sure who I would recommend it to without some reservations or caveats. I guess if you can manage to find that place in you that remembers what it was like to be a hormonal teenager, and that other place that knows what rejection feels like and wants love and acceptance more than anything, then you will probably find a lot to enjoy in this movie.

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