Late on Saturday night I settled down in bed with my headphones on to watch Me and You and Everyone We Know, the first full-length film by writer/director/lead Miranda July. It scooped the Special Jury Prize at last year's Sundance festival.
It is a very indie film, but with much more substance than other films with critical acclaim like Garden State. July populates her story with a group of well-drawn, intertwining, unique, eccentric and familiar characters. She stresses the importance of community in a time when family is falling apart.
Richard is a newly separated shoe salesman, struggling to win the approval of his two kids, and find a role for himself. Christine (July) is a taxi driver for the elderly and video artist in her head and spare time. Christine takes a passenger into the shoe store and is smitten by the beguiling ability of Richard to convince her that things don't have to be this way. Shoes, and life, don't have to hurt.
The variety of the characters and sub-plots between fat middle aged nobodies, confused teenage girls and meandering children makes sure that the film is never less than engaging. It is riddled with subtle messages and meanings- signposts of life, the last rites of a goldfish, and the dowry of a school-girl.
July has already been heralded as the new voice of American film, a tough tag to live up to but she demonstrates enough promise in her debut outing that she just might have the goods to deliver.