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Me Without You

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Me Without You

Starring: Michelle Williams, Anna Friel
Director: Sandra Goldbacher
Rated: NR
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: July 2002
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Deborah Findlay, Allan Corduner, Kyle MacLachlan, Trudie Styler, Oliver Milburn

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

"What'd you do?" Judith (Deborah Findlay), Holly's mother, asks her about her day at her friend Marina's. "Not much -- just hard drugs and casual sex," the teenager answers, which is the literal truth even if her mother figures that she is joking. Holly had sex with Marina's brother, Nat (Oliver Milburn), while Marina shot up heroin in the next room.

ME WITHOUT YOU, by director Sandra Goldbacher (THE GOVERNESS), tells the coming of age story of Holly and Marina, for whom there is no "me without you." Ella Jones and Anna Popplewell play the young Holly and Marina, and Michelle Williams and Anna Friel play the girls from teenagers on.

The superficial story never seems to have more on its mind that the costumes. Starting in 1973, the story line jumps a few years every ten minutes or so with the result that there is never enough time for any character development. Watching the changing fashions is about all the movie has to offer. In their teens, the girls complain constantly about boredom, which is an emotion that you'll be able to identify with while sitting in the audience.

Every once in a while the film surprises you with some nice lines. My favorite occurs when Holly has become one of many pseudo-intellectual college students. Arguing in a bar after class with fellow students and her literature professor (Kyle MacLachlan), Holly says, "It's so important to have a visceral reaction to the text." "That's so reductive!" says one of the other students in what she thinks is the ultimate put-down.

"Style can be stimulating, you know," Holly tells Nat. Not really, as this fashion feature proved.

ME WITHOUT YOU runs 1:47. It is rated R for "language, sexual content and drug use" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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