Me Without You

| June 19, 2015

The first thing that occurred to me when I started watching Me Without You was that Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) is still looking really young, passing no problem for a high school student in the beginning of the film.  Turns out this movie was made in 2001, so that makes sense, but I couldn’t figure out why the movie was just now being released on DVD since it was made well after DVD beat VHS into absolute obsolescence.  It looks like the movie was released on DVD in the United Kingdom, but for some reason took over a decade to come to America despite the audience appeal of both Michelle Williams and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies).  It’s interesting.

One might think that the movie didn’t come to America because it was unpopular, which maybe it was, but I’d be surprised to hear that given the quality of the film.  I really enjoyed it the whole way through.  Williams and Friel play life-long best friends, growing up in England in the 1970s.  They face many challenges concerning love, sex, drugs, alcohol, school, and careers.  The film is broken into several acts, which stand almost completely independent from each other.  You could watch any of these sections as their own short film and probably be pretty satisfied with the overall integrity of the story.  Watching these various sections as a full-length film is also deeply satisfying as we get to track the characters and their relationship as we jump forward in time.  I can only equate it to journal writing, where the speaker can jump from being joyful and optimistic to traumatized and depressed and back again between entries.

It was nice to see Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) show up in this in a smaller role.  He plays the two girls’ French poetry professor when they’re in college, and gets himself swept up in relationships with both in an attempt to recapture his youth.  It’s a really great role for him, and he establishes himself as pivotal to the girls’ overall character arc even though he’s only a part of that section of the film.

Both Williams and Friel do a great job with their respective characters.  I found their relationship to be really relatable in how co-dependent they are.  They have very different personalities but they’ve been friends since they were kids so no matter how different they become, they can’t recognize how they’re relationship is unhealthy, and refuse to end it.  I can’t think of another movie that does this, and I find the uniqueness of that dynamic really interesting.

No special features on the DVD.  Available from First Run Features on June 23.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD
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