• R, 1 hr. 41 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Sandra Goldbacher
    In Theaters:
    Mar 8, 2002 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jun 17, 2003
  • Independent Distribution Partn

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Me Without You Reviews

Page 1 of 15

Super Reviewer

November 25, 2010
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.

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2009
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."
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

October 2, 2009
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.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2006
Total chaos. It was alright...
Joseph E

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2007
Seriously? What a story! What an awfully bad execution of that story!~
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2007
Proof that British cinema is capable of producing something other than stuffy romantic comedies or hackneyed Gangster flicks, Me Without You is an assured, compassionate, involving and perceptive film. The title is perfect - at once somehow ambivalent, poetic and eloquent, with directing, writing and acting to match. The film tells the story from childhood, through adolescence and early adulthood of two girls who have a friendship that is supportive and strong as well as suffocating and destructive - imbued with jealousy as well as tenderness. Holly (Michelle Williams) is the mousy, Jewish girl with a love for brooding and inner emoting, and a mother who essentially tells her she is clever but plain. Living next door is Marina (Anna Friel), extravert, flirty, looking to experience life, and with a mother who only eats party food, drinks cocktails at all hours of the day and talks frankly about her sexual life (very similar to Rayanne's mother from TV series My So Called Life, which this films shares some similarity to). The girls admire each other, and envy each other, not just each other's characteristics but their personalities and upbringings. Michelle Williams (who has a not-quite-right English accent, but it's consistent and somehow suits the character) is absolutely superb as Holly. She shines in many scenes, particularly when trying, and failing, to express herself adequately - she is certainly a very gifted actress. Marina, potentially an incredibly unlikeable character, is made sympathetic and real thanks to very good writing - we can see how her manipulation is actually eating her up inside as she slowly hates herself more and more - and Anna Friel's brilliant performance highlights the truth that sometimes friends do awful things to each other. I was becoming exhausted emotionally near the end and was worried about how the film would wrap up, but, save for a misjudged final glimpse into the future which should have been left as a deleted scene, the film's very best sequence (involving a New Year's game) is one of the last. Very highly recommended. Oh and the soundtrack is perfect! "Where are you going?"
"I don't know."
"...Can I come?"

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2008
great film.. michelle and anna are great together..

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2008
An intense film about friendship. The performances are great by both Anna Friel as the controlling Marina and by Michelle Williams as her mistreated friend Holly (although that English accent slipped a few times).
I loved how the film moves through the decades (we are treated to a great soundtrack and a nostalgic look at the 70s/80s.) It could of done without the final scene though.

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2006
This is an all-time favorite movie of mine! It is about a remarkable growth of friendship through time, and beautifully captured through the trials and tribulations of Holly and Marina. The two met as children living next door to each other, and quickly becoming best friends doing just about everything together. The path into adolescence leaves the two dealing with the onset of emotional disasters in various relationships and embarking into new adventures, or lack of. Although Marina is highly self-indulgent and takes Holly's friendship for granted at every opportunity, this leaves Holly sadly living in the shadow of Marina's misadventures and pining for the love of Marina's older brother. Despite having a cruel friend, it is Holly that truly shines. As adults, Holly is fed up with all the mistreatments, past and present, she then realizes it is more than just about self-worthiness and acceptance but about separating herself from Marina altogether in order to have her own life. Great cast! Michelle Williams and Anna Friel are a great combination. Trudie Styler is brilliant. Absolutely love Oliver Milburn in this one! Phenomenal music!! Gotta love Echo & the Bunnymen, Cowboy Junkies, Depeche Mode, The Clash, etc. Definitely worthy.
April 16, 2009
Another prime example of a film that builds as it progresses. What starts out as a slightly annoying teen angst movie matures into a complex entanglement of emotion. The ending, reminiscent of The Graduate, is a nice touch.
February 8, 2010
I'm not quite sure what the point was with this movie, but watching it gave me chills cuz I grew up with a toxic manipulative "friend" like Morena, and I'm still trying to get away from her.
June 8, 2009
This movie kept my interest even when it was uncomfortable and you hated both the leads. I recommend this movie to watchers who like coming of age movies that aren't sappy but true to life.
January 10, 2009
awww good moviee. it's kinda sad though cause it reminds me of me and my bff, and i don't think that's a good thing.
June 21, 2007
Powerful movie. Exraordinary acting. The story of the friendhsip of two little girls that endures into adulthood - it's strengths and it's weakness "there is no me with out you".
June 4, 2007
A refreshing film that depicts the relationship between two very different women from their teen years to adulthood. Exploring the subtle boundaries of where lines should be drawn of selflessness between friends and has the forthrightness of not smoothing over the ugliness that women sometimes do to one another.
Kristin T

Super Reviewer

May 13, 2007
A tale of two best friends coming of age and eventually forced to redefine their lives and eachother. The chemistry between Michelle Williams and Oliver Milbourn is great!
This movie contains one of the best kissing scenes I have ever seen. It feels so very real because it isn't perfect. The soundtrack is a huge plus as well.
Anna Friel is AMAZING!
March 25, 2007
This movie defines the word "sleeper" - enjoyable, thought-provoking and well-filmed, and completely disappeared under the crush of all the average and slickly marketed films that came out around the same time.
March 24, 2007
The best thing I liked about this film was the soundtrack. ITS AMAZING! The plot was great, a bit intense. I found myself disliking Marina for the way she treats Holly. My favorite part in this film is when Nat hides where Holly is hiding while playing sardines and she frightens him. Its there that she admits, like him to her, she forms conversations with him in her head.
Marina (crying to Holly): "There's no me without you!"
Younger Marina and Holly screaming together: "Harina"
January 29, 2007
Chick flick? Yes. A very well done one, at that. This was the movie that turned me around on Michelle Williams (her accent is excellent). The soundtrack is also very good.
September 17, 2006
if you've ever had one of those best friends who's too selfish to really be a friend - you'll love this movie.
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