Oh, that wacky Miranda July and her zany (but serious!) directorial debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know.
I know, I know: I'm late on this one. It's been out on DVD for almost two months, for Christ's sake. And yet, I'm compelled to share my loathing. Hate like this comes once or maybe twice a year. It's like Christmas with mouth foaming!
How much did I hate this movie? Enough to stew in my hatred until it felt good. Enough to want to talk about it with everyone I encounter (it is, after all an award-winning critics' favorite -- the repeated head scratching feels even better than the warmth of the stew!). Enough to watch it twice and take screencaps.
The film is virtually plotless, which isn't a fault in itself -- it's that its plotlessness forces all the weight on the film's sooooooo unusual characters. Characters who:
. . . light their own hands on fire . . .
. . . and become distraught over a goldfish that's soon to die.
Characters who . . .
. . . are white, teen Cody Chestnutt fans . . .
. . . are art curators with ironic mugs . . .
. . . are grade-school girls with appliance fixations.
Characters who . . .
. . . write on shoes . . .
. . . exchange scatological IMs . . .
. . . repeatedly . . .
. . . and leave solicitations on their windows for flirtatious jail bait . . .
If I ever have to endure this much indiescum quirkiness, I'm going to choke myself with a Mr. Furley scarf. Or a set of white earbud headphones. Or the L train.
The examples above of how fucking false and grating July's characters are ripped from context to highlight the all-too-self-aware eccentricities of her script. This, however, falls in line with her writing (or, at least, editing) method, which is to create as many scenic non sequiturs as possible, so that punchlines become straight pummeling.
Sylvie (the appliance-loving child): (referring to a Braun hand mixer) Is it a classic instrument?
Kitchen department clerk: What?
Sylvie: Is it timeless or is it likely to go out of style in the next 20 years?
Clerk: I would say it's a new classic, but 20 years is a long time. I think everything's going to be computerized in 20 years.
Sylvie: Soup won't be computerized.
Clerk: Why not?
Sylvie: It's a liquid.
If the preciousness and obviousness (from the mouths of tech-savvy babes!) of that exchange doesn't make you want to enlist Braun products for a mass homicidal endeavor, Me and You and Everyone We Know could be the film for you! It's the most beautiful motion picture since The Flower That Drank the Moon!
I'm happy to report, that Me and You is not for me -- I don't know any of those empty-tongued people, and I'm thankful for it. Maybe I don't "get" July's tremblingly cheerful, willfully alterna outlook on life, just like I don't "get" her primary medium (before this, that is), performance art.
You know how fucking annoying it is when someone (particularly someone you're meeting for the first time) describes themselves as weird? You know how it gets even more infuriating as they go to lengths describing or even proving their weirdness? Me and You is an hour and a half of that.
It's masturbatory . . .
. . . but in a completely, y'know, different way.