Me and You and Everyone We Know... Plus Their Short Films, Too

Alright, after the heart-rending nihilism of Time Of the Wolf, it's time for a complete change of pace. So I'm looking at the feature film debut of Miranda July, 2005's Me and You and Everyone We Know. I suppose, at it's core, it's a rom-com. A man and a woman, both struggling to find their niche in the world, eventually discover each other. But it's also got a sort of Altman-ish structure, where the film follows a diverse collection of characters whose stories wind up interconnecting at unexpected intervals. More importantly, though, it's a much more inventive, sensitive, smart film on top of all that.

Update 3/23/15 - 4/30/20: Woot!  We finally have a blu-ray now - and it's in the Criterion Collection?  Nice!
I can see this movie striking people as being too precious at a cursory, superficial glance. Like a Northern Exposure-y series of set pieces saying: isn't it cute how eccentric everybody is. But as quirky as it is, it's not oddness for oddness's sake. And this film's may not be totally innocent of that, but most of the absurdities here are built from a relatable truth, like the agent who insists Miranda mail her tape to the the address they're at, rather than just accepting the tape in person. "But I'm so close," she says to crossed arms. So she devises an impromptu moment, where she's riding down in the same elevator as the agent, and compels him to pick it up. But he still insists on handing it back to her, for her to take it home with her and mail it back to them. It's relatable, it's often clever. It's just good writing.
There are also moments of underage characters exploring their sexuality which will have many viewers facing an art film where they wanted breezy entertainment. There are bits that never quite make it off the ground, and undercooked lines of dialogue like "email wouldn't even exist if it weren't for AIDS." But there are pieces, like the goldfish segment, which is so strong, it could be a perfect, wonderful short film all on its own. There's a segment where the leads are forced to share a moment when they're gluing something together that has to be held the pieces together for 1 to 2 minutes. It's just the little kind of thing that, as a writer, makes me think, I wish I came up with that! And it's got a pretty compelling soundtrack to boot.

Well, so, this is another case where I've got the Region 1 and Region 2 versions to compare, and for the same reasons as Time: they've got unique sets of extras. But in terms of PQ, as of this week, I think we can assume both of them are a little dated, thanks to the brand new blu-ray edition from Criterion.  But you know what they say about assuming, so let's have a proper comparison.
1) 2005 MGM US DVD; 2) 2006 Optimum UK DVD; 3) 2020 US Criterion BD.
The DVD transfers are both excellent and practically identical. Same framing, same colors, no interlacing or ghosting. The cases say 1.85:1, but it's just a little more open, very slightly letterboxed to 1.82:1 on both discs. There's really nothing to complain about or even distinguish between the two discs. There's no blu-ray available of this title, but this movie looks pretty great - top notch for standard definition.
1) 2006 Optimum UK DVD; 2) 2020 US Criterion BD.
There's a blu-ray now!  And, well... it's not a fancy new transfer.  This seems to be the same master MGM used for the DVD fifteen years ago, but considering this film was apparently shot on HDCam, as opposed to film, it's not like there's a negative to go back and re-scan.  Instead of film grain, there's patchwork macro-blocking that may or may not be native to the raw footage... it's the same thing you see on a lot of old blus, so maybe the film would've benefited from going back to the original tapes and re-compressing them with modern software, or maybe not.  We'll never know.  Anyway, this is the first HD release of the film, and dated master or not, it's still heaps clearer and sharper than the old DVDs.  So while it possibly could or couldn't look even better with extensive restoration work, it certainly looks better than anything that's come before; a very welcome upgrade. Plus, one difference: they opened the mattes a bit to 1.78:1, revealing slightly more along the top and bottom of the frame.

The Optimum disc lets you choose between Stereo 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1, while the MGM and Criterion discs just have the 5.1 track.  Considering this is a 2005 film, though, I think it's safe to assume that the 5.1 mix is the original track, so I'm A-OK with that.  Plus, the blu naturally bumps it up to lossless DTS-HD.  Both the MGM and Criterion (but not the Optimum) have optional English subtitles.
But here's where things get really interesting... the extras.  On the MGM DVD, there's six deleted scenes, and they're good. They're a bit long, so I can see how they'd mess up the pacing, and consequently why they'd be cut. But they're worth preserving and seeing as deleted scenes. Well, except one, which is just a shorter edit of another deleted scene that's already on disc. That seems excessive; but the rest are all fun and on par with the material that made it into the film. If you're a fan of the film, you'd want to see these, too. There's not much else on it, though. There's a bunch (eight!) of bonus trailers, but not even the trailer for the film itself.

Optimum's DVD, on the other hand, has a good deal more stuff, but disappointingly, is missing the deleted scenes. It's got a nice, in-depth 28 minute interview with July, where she tells the entire story of the film from its inception to changes made in script rewrites and on the set. Then there's 20 minutes of cast and crew interviews, including July again, which are good but a little more promotional and superficial (as in EPK stuff). Finally there's seven minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, again like Time Of the Wolf; but this time they're speaking English and we can hear what they're saying, which makes the footage more engaging. Finally, there's also a couple (four) bonus trailers and, this time, the actual Me and You and Everyone We Know trailer. Overall, this is fuller, richer special edition; but it's puzzling, and a bit frustrating, that they didn't include the deleted scenes.
But Criterion's is an even richer and fuller special edition.  First of all, it has the deleted scenes.  Well, the five.  That sixth alternate cut of the same scene has been dropped, which is just as well.  And it has the trailer.  And it has a whole bunch of new, exclusive stuff.  First of all, there's a substantial, nearly hour-long retrospective conversation with July and Lena Dunham.  And there's a fun short film July made about a film festival she attended.  Then there's a collection of scenes that July wrote and produced for a sort of pre-vis version of the film, made at the Sundance Director's Lab.  Like an early short version of the film, except it's just loose scenes rather than a complete film.  And those scenes also have optional commentary by July.  Criterion also offers a pretty chunky 44-page full color booklet with notes by Sara Magenheimer and Lauren Groff.  ...And that's just the stuff directly pertaining to Me and You.
1) 2005 VDB US DVD; 2) 2020 Criterion US BD.
There's also a bunch of Miranda July side projects.  There's a short documentary about a short-lived charity-themed art project she organized in the UK.  And there's an interview with her about her Joanie 4 Jackie project, where she curated short films by other female filmmakers.  And four of said shorts (The Slow Escape being a wonderful stand-out).  If that's starting to feel a little too removed for your tastes, they've also included two of July's own short films, as previously seen in her Videoworks DVD collection (for more info about these flicks, see that page).

These were presumably shot on video tape and SD digital, so Criterion's blu isn't much of an upgrade.  For 1998's The Amateurist, you can see they cropped the video noise bar at the bottom and brought down the gamma a smidgen, but it's a very minor distinction.  But 1999's Nest of Tens got cropped considerably, from 1.32:1 to 1.47:1, shaving off a decent bit of vertical picture information.  They've also gone and de-interlaced this one, which is a nice little fix (The Amateurist wasn't interlaced in the first place).
The one bummer is that Criterion didn't port over the Optimum extras.  Admittedly, with the hour+ of July talking about this film they did include, the Optimum interview got rendered a little redundant.  But that disc is the only way to hear from the other cast members, who neither MGM or Criterion sought out, not to mention the bonus behind-the-scenes footage.  But don't get the wrong impression; I'm quite happy overall.  We're finally getting this film in HD, which we've been waiting and waiting for, with a bunch of new treats and the deleted scenes.  The specs in the original announcement left them out, so that was a nice surprise.  But if you're a huge fan, I'd still suggest importing a copy of the UK DVD as an addendum for their special features, too.  I mean, as of this writing, AmazonUK is selling them for thirty cents, so it's not too extravagant an additional expense.


  1. So glad I found your site! A copy of the Region 2 version of "Me and You..." showed up on eBay, but I couldn't find any details about what bonuses were on it, even at sites like Because of your info, though, I ended up ordering it immediately -- to get all of the extras that are not on my US copy. THANKS!

    1. Awesome - sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who still cares about the stuff I'm covering, so I'm really happy to hear this post was helpful!