Not a single character in Me and You and Everyone We Know acts his age. A father lights his hand on fire to glean smiles from his kids. A fat, middle-aged nobody pens horny notes to teenage girls on his living room window and timidly ducks out of frame. And a little girl stores dishes and dolls in a war chest as her future husband’s dowry.
The film, in meager terms, is a romantic dramedy set between a lowly shoe salesman and a fledgling video artist/cab driver for the elderly. Thrown into the mix are a slew of other deviants.
Amazingly, first-time feature director, writer and lead Miranda July treats these offbeat behaviors with a puzzling familiarity. Borrowing from her background in multimedia art, she’s created a weirdly comfortable film for mixed audiences.
Such idiosyncratic filmmaking evokes the recent Garden State, but July understands aesthetic restraint better than the over-texturizing Zach Braff. This year’s Sundance jury endorsed this restraint, dropping in July’s lap the Special Jury Prize and tagging her as a new voice in American cinema.
All the while, Miranda July has kept her nose considerably low, admitting in her characters that she’s not completely at ease with her new medium. Despite this meekness, Me and You and Everyone We Know is a quirky precursor to a significant crossover career in cinematic magical realism.