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A film review of 'You, Me, and Everyone We Know' (2005)

Miranda July’s 2005 feature début as writer/director easily accommodates Indie hits of the last decade such as Wes Anderson’s 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and Sofia Coppola’s 'Lost in Translation'. This article is a review of 'You, Me, and Everyone We Know', as part of Indie cinema.

Rise of the Indie

At the beginning of the noughties, the films of Anderson, Coppola, Alexander Payne and others became the voice of Indie in America. They crossed over into the mainstream and caught the attention of the academy at the same time. These films are not to everyone’s taste. Some critics call the slow-pacing, dreamy visuals and surreal performances, as pretentious and boring. To others, they are the voices of a disenchanted generation which was fed up with on-screen representations of a lifestyle, which was different from reality.

The film

'You, Me and Everyone We Know' would make a great double header with the controversial 'Happiness'. It caused outrage on release, with its blacker than black humour on topics such as paedophilia and domestic abuse. It also gave some of the actors involved career-best roles, catapulting people like Philip Seymour Hoffman into stardom. If you enjoy dark ensemble comedy, then 'You, Me and Everyone We Know' could be for you. Christine Jesperson (played by Miranda July) is a lonely performance artist who meets Richard Swersey (the excellent John Hawkes), a single father of two boys. They have a definite fondness for each other, but struggle to connect. Richard’s sons' love lives are almost as chaotic as their father's. Six year old Robby is having an Internet romance with a stranger, and his fourteen year old brother Peter, has become a guinea pig for local girls to test their skills and knowledge of romance on. As with many Indie films of the decade, the music score is very good - courtesy of Michael Andrews, who also scored Indie classic 'Donnie Darko' and some of Judd Apatow’s productions. The young actors give excellent performances, and the leads have good on-screen chemistry. The darkly comic moments are impacting. Nonetheless, this film, along with some of the other aforementioned films, is an acquired taste. Some will find the pacing and poetic dialogue pretentious and dull, whereas a small few will take the film to heart. Roger Ebert named the film amongst his best films of the decade 2000-09. It is a film which can highly influence its viewers. Fans of American Indie cinema of the noughties, should definitely watch the movie.

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