Saturday, August 06, 2005

Me and You and Everyone we Know

Oh...I just love going to the movies, whether it's to see some eye-candy that doesn't change your life but was a fun way to kill two hours, or whether it's to see a movie as poignant and surprising as Me and You and Everyone we Know, written/directed and starred in by the frail-looking, bewildering and captivating Miranda July (who is my age). I must say, as a side note, that I can't stop looking at her. She's beautiful in a way that defies beauty. She's often described as "luminous" and "childlike" and those are both compliments to her, and she is both and they work really well for this movie, in which the kids are either adultified or simply cut off from the joy of childhood, and the adults, as I've found adults are most of the time, are struggling to get their shit together.

It's not a perfect movie, but its imperfections mirror those of its characters, who are beguiling and sad and worrisome. I don't want to do a movie review here, because you can look up six thousand of them online (all, I found, appreciative)...but I want to see if I can mark how good I felt coming out of this movie. I have always been drawn to write about people who are searching for what they want and not quite finding it, or closing in on it. I'm much more interested in the journey, and could almost care less about the denouement. I couldn't help but reflect on the novel I'm writing and see all its faults and how many things have been left untouched, the inner lives of my characters unprobed. But that's not a bad thing, believe it or not. This movie reminded me how many possibilities there are, paths to take, ways that people can mess up and still be redeemed.

And then there's the funniest scene with a six year-old boy discussing poop that I have ever seen. I've never laughed so hard in a movie before, ever. Where they found this boy I do not know, but I loved him as much as the little kid in the movie Rushmore who, upon being prompted by Bill Murray about what he's painting replies, "That's, uh...a jellyfish." (It was all timing and juxtaposition, nothing inherently funny about the jellyfish, but the delivery and the absurdity made us laugh so hard.) Poop is a bit more directly funny to some, but the kid is priceless.

This movie is priceless too. At moments it edges into the absurd, but that's what makes it great. Just like the books that move me the most, there's a moment where you know you are suspending disbelief, you know that people don't REALLY talk like THAT, don't really remember the profound moments that add up to good fictional imagery...but that doesn't mean life is all mundane either. It's got some magic.

Go see this movie if you're not one of these types who needs explosions, overt narration or explicit character may just change you a little.



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