Why is it that certain films prompt you to sit, watch, think, and cry while watching them closely?
Because of its sappy characters, overblown plot or mediocre musical scores that go overly used in the background of the film?
Sometimes, a film gets us big time because of its compelling storytelling that rings true to our basic necessity as a human being. The film on the spotlight here, Me and You and Everyone We Know, teaches us, or rather, reminds me on the necessity to communicate and interact with other people in this complicated world where self-recognition is on top of everyone’s priority list.
Ever since the film starts with the images of neatly arranged pictures on the wall of our main character, Christine, and she starts imagining things by making up dialogues of what the people in the pictures might say to each other, we are hooked with the situation she traps herself in. Loneliness that turns herself longing for companion, that also turns herself to sacrifice her artistic ambition to become a cab-driver for elder people, who give her ears to share her thoughts, who, in some twisted fate, introduce her to people she will embark on some relationships … There you go, you have an idea why the film is aptly given such a title that seems to be a tagline for overrated Friendster.
Yet, perhaps it is not too much to derive a hypothesis that the film works like the website where everyone is connected to another, and at some points in their life, they are communicating to each other. Film-wise, the idea is far from original, perhaps one may quick to note Jafar Panahi’s The Circle as one of fine examples.
What makes Miranda July’s stunning debut poignant lies on the film’s acute and accurate depiction on people’s primary need on not being alone, knowing that their existence recognized in one way or another, be it through a bitter divorce process, being an object of sexual desires of a pervert, or doing sexual chats with an underage kid, unknowingly. July excels in her approach that reels on tenderness of human beings, and treating them equally as fellow inhabitants of one deserted city, without putting any judgment on them. Not even while she makes fun of artsy people with their pretentiousness, the joke is delivered subtly, as if July treats the film carefully like a baby on her early stage.
Indeed, the affectionate feeling is felt as her labor of love, and a work delivered with a lot of hearts results in a film that screams out words like “original”, “beautiful”, or “a breakout”, or “simply a gem”.
She deserves all the accolades, and I deserve the film to be inhibited within myself, just like one of the main characters, Richard, says to Christine while she complains about how painful it is everytime she tries new shoes, and Richard consoles her without even touching her feet, yet carefully examining the pain, looking at her the way a shoe-store keeper treats a customer, and innocently tells her:
“You think you deserve the pain, but you don’t”.
My favorite film of the year.