A review of “Me Without You” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ** 1/2

Rating: R for nudity, language, sexuality

Run Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

 

 

Hard drugs, casual sex, and a mercurial friendship spanning four decades highlight this English, character-driven drama-with-a-heart.  Michelle Williams is Holly, the perennial girl-next-door and best friends with Marina (Anna Friel), the tempestuous bad-girl with a truckload of issues.

From the crazy, free-love days of the seventies, the wacky, big-hair eighties, and through to more contemporary responsible times, Holly and Marina live, love and play together.  Holly is studious – seeking out the next taxing intellectual pursuit while secretly envying Marina’s carefree, laissez-faire attitude.  The friendship goes slightly south when Holly and Marina discover that they’re shagging the same university professor; sleazy, faux- academic Daniel (Kyle MacLachlan).

That carnal misstep, plus the fact that Holly finally beds the man of her dreams (Marina’s older brother Nat, played by Oliver Milburn), puts the friendship on rocky footing.  It’s “Heavenly Creatures” redux as the girls plot, scheme, and compete with one another over men, clothes, and dysfunctional family. Fun period music is used too sparingly to have any real impact, and Marina’s pouty discontent drags down the narrative in spots.  But nothing can detract from affection of that moral favorite: friends will be friends through thick and thin.