If Kenneth Lonergan were only a good director, I would still take away his finesse for economy. He seems to tell as little as he expects the audience needs to understand the characters' circumstances, emotions, and priorities. A challenge is appreciated. If Kenneth Lonergan were only a good screenwriter, I would still take away his craft for bringing natural lightness to situations, no matter how tough it gets for the characters at hand. In the case of You Can Count on Me, we get both strengths, plus an affecting relationship between two siblings, Sammy (Laura Linney) and Terry (Mark Ruffalo). Mature adult relationships between siblings is much rarer in cinema than I had realized, before watching this. I empathized greatly with both Sammy and Terry, who have very different views on family values and their relationship with the small town in which they grew up. Terry's current circumstances are much more mysterious than Sammy's, though, regardless of Lonergan's intentions, I was far more interested in what Sammy had been going through. I mean, Sammy had both a potential engagement with someone (Jon Tenney) and an affair with her boss (Matthew Broderick). Terry's freespiritedness was surely empathetic, much credit to Ruffalo for that, but there was little revealed of what he was actually doing. That is likely in Lonergan's intentions. Terry's behaviour may be his own way of dealing with his parents' freak accident death (first scene); it's not even that relevant to the core of the film -- how the characters move forward. No one acts hurtfully or spitefully, in response to a retrospective action. Everyone may do some coarse things in a moment, but they have a desire to hug it out, before it is too late.