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Me Without You
cast: Anna Friel, Michelle Williams, Kyle McLachlan, and Trudie Styler

director: Sandra Goldbacher

107 minutes (15) 2001
widescreen ratio 16:9
Momentum DVD Region 2 rental
Also available to rent on video

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
Suburban girls Holly and Marina have been friends since childhood. Marina's flaky, dysfunctional family is a source of fascination for steady, studious Holly - and Marina's brother Nat is her first and truest love. But as sex and punk and university and tangled relationships take their toll on them, Holly begins to realise that she's always lived in the shadow of her more glamorous friend. Does she have the courage to begin living her own life - and what hope is there for her long unrequited passion for Nat?
   Me Without You is a sometimes-uncomfortable slice of British life, capturing the ups and down of two turbulent decades, and the way friendships change over the years. Anna Friel and Michelle Williams give excellent performances as two very ordinary girls chasing their dreams, and discovering that they can't get away from themselves or each other. The detail of their lives is brilliantly realised, lending tremendous authenticity to their prickly, often destructive relationship, and the supporting performances are also very good.
   The film does veer a little too close to a sentimental happy ending, but after Holly's spent 20 downtrodden years wanting to be Marina, it's hard to begrudge her a little happiness. It's rare to see such an incisive study of the stresses of lifelong friendship in a mainstream film, and that originality and the strength of the acting make it well worth a look.
   DVD extras: trailers, production notes.