Me and You and Everyone We Know

A highly decorated film, ‘Me and you and everyone we know’, should come with a warning. “Watching this movie can cause death by boredom or at the very least spoil a long week end, otherwise lovely in every aspect.” It’s one of those movies that make you go, ‘what were they thinking?’ ‘They’ is an all-purpose pronoun that stands in for numerous groups – producers, film festival juries, and newspaper critics.

After watching Garden State, I felt that my being a neither-here-nor-there immigre was to blame. Had I grown up in the US, I’d have found the movie as enjoyable as the rest of the audience in the theater did. With Miranda July’s movie, I don’t know what you have to be to enjoy the movie. It’s most distinguishing character is blandness. Everything, especially most lines spouted by the leading actors are told in a dead-pan tone. From time to time, the movie provokes sheer disgust, leaving you yearning for the blandness, which is then promptly delivered to you.

The premise is simple – girl meets boy, likes boy, boy having been burnt by recent relationship (literally, as you’ll find out if you watch this movie) is hesitant, but love conquers all in the end. You have a few sub-plots to keep the pace going – an old couple in love, some kids indulging in behavior that would be considered kinky in adults and is therefore nauseating in children, and of course, adults indulging in some kinky behavior of their own. I don’t know if you’re supposed to laugh at any or all of this – the New York Times called it a ‘romantic comedy’. I didn’t, I couldn’t.

Movies like this are Hollywood’s attempts at making “hatke” movies, an endeavor whose results are about as painful as the “hatke” movies from back home.

I’ve tried to think of what steps I can take to guard myself against lemons like this in future.
a) I could read more than one review. In this instance, the Times loved it, but the New Yorker did not. But I hate reading reviews till after I watch the movies, as most reviews make watching the actual movie rather pointless.
b) I could check with friends. Only most of my friends have more sense than I do, and steer clear of “Winner: Cannes, Winner: Sundance” label, to which I am drawn as moth to a light.
c) Watch trailers to judge for myself. But trailers are the most evil propaganda devices ever conceived. Am sure a trailer of this movie would have the 1.5 funny lines and the thimbleful of thought this movie provokes all condensed into a sexy, irresistible package, liberally smeared with quotes from every “serious” newspaper or magazine whose reviewers gave this movie a positive review

So, there’s not a thing I can do, really. I’ll just chalk it up to occupational hazard. ‘Me and you and everyone we know’ is the price you pay for getting to watch movies like Crash, or Capote, Good Night, and Good Luck, other movies I got lucky with this year.

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