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Me Without You
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Reviews & Ratings for
Me Without You More at IMDbPro »

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32 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Gorgeous Portrayal of Living

10/10
Author: Seraphymel (Seraphymel@aol.com) from Jackson, Mississippi
29 March 2004

Every actor gives a remarkable performance in this film which has become my new favorite. Even the soundtrack is excellent, combining The Clash, Echo the Bunnymen, along with other pulsing musical giants, it provides a perfect backdrop to the gorgeous storyline. This simple however very rich tapestry of two young girls growing up together throughout the 70's, 80's, until today reminds me why I love movies. And the character of Nat (Oliver Milburn) reminds me why I want to love. I could watch it over and again still never tiring of the struggle between the two main characters Holly and Marina to grow up into independence. This is especially difficult for Holly as she strives to live under her best/worst friend Marina's constant control. She manipulates every situation with no shame in order to keep Holly closely tied to her and out of her older brother's (Nat) arms. It is a truly intense dynamic between these three souls, one that has inspired me to recommend the movie to others, both men and women as it reaches both sexes. Looks can be deceiving because it is no chick flick, but a highly interesting portrayal of human behavior, highlighted by flaws each one of us have and take for granted. So if you want to see a movie that will stay with you always see this one. It's clever, incredibly moving and intelligently sexy. I highly recommend it!!! : )

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Iconoclastic

Author: susan-191
6 August 2004

A real look at women with depth and foibles sustaining a friendship- Why is this so rarely done? The details are succinct and amazing. This is what real people look like and act like- when they're tired, confused, angry, jealous etc., etc. No glossing. By showing the 'bones' of the characters' neuroses the evolution of the people themselves and their friendship becomes complex and satisfying. And,

hey, the period details are fabulous- I was right back there with them wearing tarty, tatty club clothes and listening to Adam Ant with fake pirates. Loved this movie.

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Bloody good show!

8/10
Author: Maggot-6
21 December 2003

I'm a middle-aged white man, not a teen chick, and yet I must confess to having felt that this was a fine bit of work from so many POVs- and an entertaining package for their efforts.

Yes, there were times when it was too clear that the actresses were improvising their lines for a scene- but I could forgive it! There were far more instances where the lines were so spontaneously delivered that their candor felt just right, honesty beyond reproach.

The young women were excellent in their craft and sincerity. The screenplay was very believable, intelligent and did not pander- even if it tried too hard to include too much turmoil. The dialogue was delicious.

The direction was tentative in its lack of assurance (some moments that the cast ought to have been reined in rather than indulged) but mostly, the direction shows solid instinct and craft.

Finally, the cinematography is very fine. The framing and tracking show the viewer a smoothly handsome progress of scene and plot - without any trendy or self-conscious technical digression. Thank you, my friend, for your refusal to drown us in camera-shake!

All in all, I feel this was a fine project lovingly rendered by a sincere and generously talented team. As for their slight lack of self-confidence, it leads me to expect greater pleasure from their next work. This lot will not be undone by complacent ennui!

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good...

8/10
Author: mikegray from Manchester, England
15 November 2001

Friendship is a curious thing, and it's a topic which hasn't been explored too recently at the cinema. Me Without You puts this right, following the relationship between Holly (Williams) and Marina (Friel) from the seventies through the present, watching as them grow up and exploring their feelings towards each other and each other's families.

Imagine a British answer to The Ice Storm or American Beauty, and you're about half-way there, as this contains performances of genuine passion and emotion which leads you to engage on a surprisingly deep level with the characters as it delves beneath the surface of friendship. There is a moment about an hour in with Holly where it was impossible not to feel her character's desperation. While mostly drama, there are many moments of subtle humour which are effective without disturbing the overall flow of the piece.

The direction, especially with some inspired lighting in the last half hour is more than adequate, and the soundtrack perfectly evokes the spirit of the era, as do the costumes which have obviously had great care taken over them.

More importantly, though, this is a film which will really make you think, make you question the nature of friendship and your friends - you'll want to recommend this film to them, but you probably won't for fear of losing them afterwards!

A delight, and not at all what you might expect from a British film starring an ex soap actress. The two leads put in fine performances, and the supporting cast more than pull their weight. It's fair to say that I felt some of the nudity and drug use were slightly gratuitous, but this is a criticism that could also be levelled at American Beauty to a certain extent. This isn't quite a five star film, but it's pretty close.

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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A messy, busy, charming little English film about girls muddling through.

Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
16 August 2002

Summary: A messy, busy, charming little English film about girls muddling through `Me Without You' is a nice little movie (or should I say film?) that's a lot of fun if you'll let it be. Its depiction of a dependent relationship between two young Englishwomen from the Seventies till now is messy and busy. That's fine. If life wasn't messy and busy in the Seventies and Eighties I don't know what it was. Clothes and décor and music are thrown at us to evoke the successive periods in a way that ranges from charming to grating. The focus isn't on that; it's just a way of showing the passage of time, the saga of lives moving on. The early sequences jump a little too fast. When you go from the little girls to the young women you may think they're wholly different people. You may think the metamorphoses of the young women are too rapid. But quite early you start to care about both women, and about Marina's sweet and good looking but tragically unavailable brother Nat. This is a women's picture in the good sense that it knows what makes men attractive to women and why that both matters very much and isn't quite enough. It seems to take Nat and Holly about twenty-five years to get together for keeps. The relationship between Marina (Anna Friel) and Holly (Michelle Williams) makes disfunctionality and exploitation between people seem okay, and that's fine too. Mostly we don't question our intimate relationships. The assumption is that the relationship is symbiotic. Pretty early on it becomes clear that the insecure but fast Marina exploits and abuses Holly, while the slightly mousy but smart Holly sticks around because she's too nice and too needy not to. It takes a few decades for this to end, for Holly to realize that Marina needs her more than she needs Marina.

I think what makes this a good film (I will say film) is that it's informed by the English spirit of muddling through, of not expecting too much, but there's an underlying moral sense. There's some of the same kind of wry honesty that comes at the end of Schlesinger's `Sunday Bloody Sunday.' `Me Without You' doesn't try to save the world or make Teaching Points about people. It takes them as they are. You can see this in the womanizing American prof character played excellently by Kyle McLaughlan. He's a rotter, but bloody hell! He can't help it. He's sleazier than the amiable scoundrel played by Hugh Grant in `About a Boy,' but he has some of that appeal. Marina isn't a bitch. If a person as nice and as smart as Holly loves her, how can we hate her? No one is a caricature. No one is whiney or shrill. Muddling through, or making do: I thought also of the mood of the once-Number One video in England, `Withnail and I': it's always rainy and things are always running out.

There are a lot of scenes and little reversals of fortune and through them all Friel and Williams remain excellent, Friel as Marina changing costumes like some mod master of disguise, while the soft, slightly plain, but actually quite lovely Williams as Holly carries the film. Finally it's all about Holly. It's Holly who has the endurance and who gets the man of her dreams at the end, rewarded for her intelligence and moral superiority like a Jane Austen heroine. Williams does her English accent to perfection and quietly underplays her role. The highly saturated color of the film makes her skin look ravishing: she becomes not just an English girl but an understated English beauty who doesn't need Marina's trendy, tarted up costumes and face to be splendid looking.

What makes the film worthwhile and interesting is how well the two characters are written. A long time after seeing it I was still thinking about the relationship.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Great movie about friendship, life, hardships and love!!!

8/10
Author: CherylAG from Indianapolis, USA
2 December 2004

This was a very good movie and definitely not just for females in their teens and 20's. I think all females (and even many males) can relate to this movie in one way or another. It's a very realistic movie about LIFE--- friendship, growing up, partying, sex, learning from mistakes, morals, family problems, falling in love, self-destruction, standing up for yourself, being with someone you don't love because it's expected of you, long term friendships and much more. It is definitely emotional at times, but very realistic. I live in the states and get irritated at the movies here being so idealistic--that's why i really enjoy the foreign made movies so much.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

visually rich and funny

9/10
Author: amberapple
20 April 2005

I loved this film. I cannot fathom why the above reviewer calls it "maudlin" and the comparison to Antonia and Jane seems way off base, as does the comment that this is somehow like a Mike Leigh film! (makes me think they have never seen a Mike Leigh film). Also the comment on the "Miranda" character does not inspire confidence since the character's name is Marina!

In any case, this film deftly captures several eras with its complex and lush visual design, reflecting the inner world of Holly who is a creative, romantic soul and the outer surface of Marina who is a chameleon-like, savvy trendsetter. The music is also extremely well-utilized, as are the many pop cultural references that lend authenticity to the changes in chronology without being too obvious.

A fine cast too! Williams and Friel are excellent and their evolution from teenagers to young women to early thirties is convincing and enthralling. I also love Trudy Styler as a pill-popping, slutty- dressing "mom" and Allan Corduner has a solid turn as Holly's kind, befuddled father. Kyle Maclachlan seems somewhat miscast at times but plays the reckless professor well. I also found Oliver Milburn as Nat to be charming, and though she has a small role the French actress who plays his fiancé is great...I last saw her in My Sex Life and she is also terrific in that.

On its surface (the candybox colors, the fluffy music) this might seem like a Brit chick flick but it's really an exploration of what happens when an obsessive friendship grows beyond its usefulness.

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Coming-of-age sans treacle

9/10
Author: elwinter
28 June 2003

This is one of the best depictions of female adolescence, and the intensity of female "best friend"ships I've seen. Good attention to detail. Doesn't pull its punches on sex, drugs & rock'n'roll - neither glamourizing nor moralizing. It might take courage for parents to let their teenagers see it, but it's delusional to think kids don't know about these things. Good to see it handled intelligently.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Sensual Experience

8/10
Author: bpjanice from Singapore
12 November 2004

I've always been a huge fan of British films and 'Me Without You' certainly didn't let me down. It doesn't only show vividly the agonies and struggles of growing up from a girl to a woman, it also presents the joys in a way that all can identify with.

I believe most can empathize with Marina, when she tore up the letter Nat wrote to Holly, or when she tries her very best just so that she can have Holly all to herself. Friel forces us to come face to face with the Marina in ourselves.

Williams deserves more credit for her stunning performance in the film. Undoubtedly, her quiet and reserved way of playing Holly has found itself into the hearts of many, especially with her desperate yearning for Nat.

To term this epic a 'chick flick' is certainly doing it and its actors great injustice. I walked away after watching it for the third time saying, 'God, I love this movie.' Kudos to the writer and director!

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Cool Movie!

10/10
Author: famousgir1 from London, England
5 December 2001

Me Without You is about two best friends, Holly and Marina growing up in London in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and of course we see what they're up to in 2001. The movie sees the up and downs in there friendship, love life and family life.

Me Without You is directed by the great Sandra Goldbacher, who's a brilliant director as we see in many of her movies, including this one. Michelle Williams (With a British accent.) and Anna Friel (Ex soap star.) both star here and they both good performances as does most of the rest of the cast here.

Me Without You is a great movie. I'm not usually into British films, but this one is good, even if it is different to what I'd expected. I really liked all the Jewish scenes in the movie too, especially with Holly being Jewish, as I'm Jewish too. All in all there's a good movie here. See it!

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