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Me Without You

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
Me Without You
from Film Forum, 08/22/02

Michelle Williams, who earned celebrity for her work on Dawson's Creek, plays a very different role in the new independent film from writer-director Sandra Goldbacher. Me Without You is a coming-of-age story about two best friends. Williams plays Holly, a quiet and well-mannered Jewish girl, while her friend Marina (Anna Frie) is wild, self-centered, and free-spirited. Codependent and close as sisters, their friendship suffers when they begin to hide from each other the secrets of their romantic entanglements.

J. Robert Parks (The Phantom Tollbooth) praises Williams: "It's a wonderfully vulnerable performance." But that's only one bright spot. "Unfortunately, the other aspects of Me Without You are overly broad and uncompelling. … Predictability is not a virtue in my book … I knew the outcome … well before the movie's halfway point."

Anne Navarro (Catholic News) lists some complaints of her own. "While the characterizations are authentic and the performances compelling, viewers may be troubled by the casual representation of sexual encounters and drug use. The story drags, taking a depressing turn before abruptly turning the corner to a sunny, incongruous ending." But she has high praise for other aspects: "Goldbacher infuses the narrative with classic tell-tale signs of the period. Signature '80s songs and fashion sensibilities are in full force as is the punk attitude of the '70s and the materialism of the '90s. Goldbacher guides the actors with a gentle hand, drawing nuanced performances from both women."