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Me Without You (2002)

tomatometer

66

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 22

At times ponderous, Me Without You is engaging due to the fine work by Williams and Friel.

71

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 7

At times ponderous, Me Without You is engaging due to the fine work by Williams and Friel.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 6,759

My Rating

Movie Info

The joys and horrors of female friendship are explored in writer/director Sandra Goldbacher's Me Without You. Bold, brash, and fashionable Marina (played by Anna Popplewell as a child, and Anna Friel as a teen and adult) comes from a broken home. Her mother, Linda (Trudie Styler, who executive produced Guy Ritchie's first two films, and is also Sting's wife) is a hip young divorcée who apologizes every time she yells at her children. Holly (Ella Jones as a child, Michelle Williams of Dawson's

R,

Drama, Comedy

Sandra Goldbacher, Laurence Coriat

Jun 17, 2003

$55.3k

Independent Distribution Partn - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (76) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (22) | DVD (10)

Although the film deserves some points for trying to describe the intensity of best-friendship between girls, it fails to make them interesting people.

September 20, 2002
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Feels like a late-baby-boomer family album.

September 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Both illuminating and dispiriting.

September 13, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A well-made and often lovely depiction of the mysteries of friendship.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Goldbacher draws on an elegant visual sense and a talent for easy, seductive pacing ... but she and writing partner Laurence Coriat don't manage an equally assured narrative coinage.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You can't ignore the film's pungency as a cultural document and as a heartfelt testimony to the power struggles of best mates.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is always disappointing to me when I want to fall desperately in love with a film and can't.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

finely crafted, finely written, exquisitely performed

June 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A journey spanning nearly three decades of bittersweet camaraderie and history, in which we feel that we truly know what makes Holly and Marina tick, and our hearts go out to them as both continue to negotiate their imperfect, love-hate relationship.

April 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The story and the friendship proceeds in such a way that you're watching a soap opera rather than a chronicle of the ups and downs that accompany lifelong friendships.

November 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

Michelle Williams really proves herself here. She's terrific in what could become her breakout role from television's Dawson's Creek.

September 2, 2002
Your Movies (cleveland.com)

Love. Lust. Recrimination. Jealousy. Resolution. This British female friendship melodrama has them all.

August 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Taken seriously, it's not much to think about, but taken as a dirtier version of other girlie films ... it's at least entertaining and sexy fun.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

As watchable as the film is throughout its first half, the plotting becomes more and more like a soap opera, and neither character is all that interesting.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Mostly, [Goldbacher] just lets her complicated characters be unruly, confusing and, through it all, human.

August 22, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Something like a pint-sized, pitiable British version of 'Beaches'...an arch and obvious bit of soap opera twaddle.

August 18, 2002 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

'Me Without You is one-sided...[but] the film has a wonderful knack for capturing each decade's zeitgeist...'

August 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

...the story, like Ravel's Bolero, builds to a crescendo that encompasses many more paths than we started with.

August 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for Me Without You

Needful Things... I mean, Me Without You, juggles several themes without a catastrophy - does this make for great entertainment? Not necessarily, though there is certainly enough here to mull over.

The "story" involves two young girls; next door neighbors who probably, if they weren't next door neighbors, would not have connected.

In one corner you have Holly, the product of a stable Jewish family, who has been told since a toddler that she has brains, not beauty.

In the other, you have her opposite, Marina, from a broken family whose mother instills the virtue of beauty.

Once the two main charactors are introduced you get to live with them for the next 30 years via a series of vignettes that, taken seperatly, are often flat and uninvolving, but as a whole take on new life and direction.

While the early part of the film wallows in pathos and boredom, there is a much deeper subtext that makes this film watchable.

I made the lil joke about needful things, because that's what all the charactors are, especially Marina. Whether it's because of her father's rejection, or her mother's teachings about beauty and attention being the true way to wealth and happiness, she not only needs the spotlight all the time, but perceives that she needs ANYTHING that anyone else might desire as well. So, she takes anything that Holly may want, including men.

It's easy to understand why Marina needs Holly, since she's such a Diva and always needs applause and attention, but why does Holly tolerate Marina? Is it because Marina offers some sense of adventure and wonder that her own bookish life fails to provide? Or is it, in her case, a true sense of kinship and the bond formed by lonliness?

These themes are all interesting, but it's subtext and not the crux of the film, which seriously meanders as it tells it's story of the two girls and those around them (particularly Mirina's older brother, who a young Holly has a crush on and later.... well, let's just say there's lot's going on).

I could have done without much of the period effects - too much of the disco scene - oh, look at the gay guy doing a fan dance - and other superflous scenes drawn simply to impart a sense of the era. I also found the drug party scene to be rather pointless, except to perhaps give an underpinning to the main charactors. Further scenes also left me underimpressed, though they gave me ample time to comtemplate the underlying stuff I've already discussed.

I also felt that the final scene where Holly has finally had enough of Marina's needs to be a bit melodramatic - not from Holly of course, but Marina's blathering soul sucking need and then her subsequent emotional breakdown... it just played slightly over the top and false.

But then the film redeems itself with a very nice closing scene 10 years later - the girls are back together, out in the backyard watching their own two children, both girls, cavorting about. Without saying anything the film say volumes as it freeze frames on the next generation. The meaning is evident, and the cycle of need continues.
November 25, 2010
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Cast: Michelle Williams, Anna Friel, Oliver Milburn, Kyle MacLachlan, Trudie Styler, Marianne Denicourt, Steve John Shepherd, Allan Corduner, Nicky Henson, Deborah Findlay

Directed by: Sandra Goldbacher

Summary: In 1970s London, two young girls, Holly (Michelle Williams) and Marina (Anna Friel), grow up next door to each other, share intimacies and survive mutual traumas. Their lives are completely intertwined, and they make a pact of eternal friendship they don't ever plan to break. But as they progress through adolescence and young adulthood in the turbulent 1980s, their friendship and resolve are tested.

My Thoughts: "It's really surprising how much I not only enjoyed this film, but how much I related to it. Me and my bestie have much of the same relationship as Holly and Marina. It's a gals, gals movie. Not much for the guys. But it's a great film that should be seen even if its about a couple of best-friends staring two girls. I was surprised that I liked it, because most best-friend films are full of bubblegum bullshit. This film felt like it was a very honest and real portrayal of a friendship/sisterhood. Love Michelle Williams. Her and Anna Friel where great together. Thought they were both believable as besties. Will definitely watch it again."
August 10, 2010
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

This film drags without reaching any real conclusion. The relationships are unconvincing and the acting questionable. Michelle Williams is quite good but Anna Friel is quite annoying, although I guess her character is supposed to be to a point. 20 or so years pass within seconds without so much as a haircut, so it?s also a little confusing at times. Not a total waste of time but not great either.
October 2, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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