"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