On the DVD: Me Without Your is presented in a widescreen visual ratio of 2.35:1 with Dolby 5.1 digital sound that gives full weight and intensity to a soundtrack which revisits a well-chosen selection of obvious and obscure tracks from the period. It has no extra features. --Roz Kaveney
This movie is very much about friendship and definitely has the bitter with the sweet. We see the good and the bad of what the friendship brings to Holly and Marina. I like the theme of identity also and the way that they each experiment with trying on bits of the other's basic personality.
Being 38 this movie is nice to be nostalgiac about, seeing the changing fashions and the music. I also like watching the characters growing up.
Last but not least I love the acting in this movie. Not having watched Dawson's creek much, Michelle Williams is a revelation. Her accent is convincing even though she's American and both she and Friel really put across the emotions of the characters so well.
If you like the themes of friendship, personal identity and growing up then this will not disappoint. Other friendship movies that you may not have heard of and that I heartily recommend are My First Mister (American independent film) and Love Me If You Dare (French).
This still remains true, though I have softened- as this is a film that stays and resonates with you. Also, it touches on an era in which I have lots of interest- apart from silly list/top ten shows and makes this a film along with Donnie Darko that looks at the 1980's.
The story is simple- a friendship between two quite different females over many years; we get to see them grow together, grow up and grow apart. The music for this film is fantastic- Wreckless Eric, The Clash, er Barbara Dickson, Depeche Mode, Cowboy Junkies, Nick Drake, Tim Buckley. The highlights for me musically were the scenes in the bedroom to Scritti Politti's The Sweetest Girl and the dance scene between Friel/McLachlan to Cabaret Voltaire's Nag Nag Nag- two of the finest singles ever!
Anna Friel is very good, though has the relatively easy role of playing the fallen/shallow/hedonist girl to the divine Michelle Williams (Prozac Nation, Dawson's Creek) who plays the sensitive writer wallflower. Williams is fantastic here, showing exactly why the writers of the Creek decided to give her character something to do in the last 1 1/2 series of Dawson's (nice to escape Katie Holmes gamine gurning & Van Der Beek's god damn worthiness). Williams gets the British accent just right, showing Gwyneth Paltrow how it should be done. Williams gives a fearless performance that is more common to European cinema (which I suppose this qualifies as)
Kyle Machlachlan and Trudie Styler are good in supporting roles and the period detail is great (as is the use of rain in the Brighton scenes). Nice to see an interesting post-modern joke regarding Tarkovsky's Nostalgia (1983), where Williams' character tells McLachlan's that "nostalgia is my favourite Tarkovsky"- in 1982! Anyone who has attended university will be familiar with the talk of Derrida and Foucault, the uni lifestyle is caught wonderfully- improving on that in Mike Leigh's Career Girls (which is set in a similar period). The end feels a little rushed, blame this on the constraints of cinema.
Me Without You is a charming coming of age (and more ) film, charting a notion of fraternity between two girls. Sadly it was overlooked at the cinema, seems that we love our nostalgia on TV but not in the cinema. This is an excellent film that you will want to come back to, in a way the female equivalent of Withnail & I or Jules et Jim/Anne & Muriel without the tragedy. Ditto Mina Tannenbaum or Lawn Dogs. The most shocking thing about this film is that it is British- this usually means homoerotic gangster films in the Tarantino mode, terrible horror films, tedious slabs of populism or unfunny comedies. Pity that this wasn't marketed as heavily as say Bend it like Beckham, as I think it would have found a strong audience (I was the only person in the cinema). Here it has a second chance on video and like a film like Beautiful Girls I hope it finds an audience there.
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