Me Without You 2001
Distributed by First Run Features, 630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036; 212-243-0600
Directed by Sandra Goldbacher
DVD , color, 88 min.
Adolescence, Drama, Family Relations, Feature Films, Popular Culture, Social Behavior
Date Entered: 12/10/2015Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Holly (Michelle Williams; My Week with Marilyn) is shy, serious, and as her mother informs her, clever. Marina (Anna Friel; Land of the Lost) is the pretty, wild, and manipulative one. The two next-door neighbors are unlikely but inseparable best friends. From pre-adolescent crushes to hard drugs and casual sex; from arguments with parents through relationship hook-ups and break-ups; from their staid middle-class suburb to university and professional careers, the two girls both emotionally support and hurt each other as they mature into adulthood.
Commercially released in 2001, the British feature film was filmed on location on the Isle of Man and Brighton, and covers the time from 1973 through 2001. Period details, particularly fashion and music, are well-integrated without overtaking the narrative. Trudy Styler, as Marina’s reckless mother, and Kyle MacLachlan, as an equally reckless visiting American professor, are engagingly featured in supporting roles. While an in-depth exploration of female friendship may have been innovative for its time (Roger Ebert called the film both bracing and refreshing), the characters, storyline and theme are now more recognizable to audiences. No less enjoyable for its ‘chick flick’ familiarity, however, the entertaining film is recommended for general adult audiences.