Hyper-Sexualized Teen Lives

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Miranda makes a debut noteworthy for its shedding light on a slice of today's hyper-sexualized world, and primarily from the perspective of unprotected youngsters. Though we might not like to see such a matter-of-fact presentation of so much perversion, especially involving children, this super-realistic flick triggers in the viewer a sudden shock of recognition that these taboos have likely become mainstream

Shoe salesman Richard (John Hawkes), a recently-separated father of two, is heartbroken after being left by wife. Plus, he is burdened by the responsibility of now having to raise his two sons, 7 year-old Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) and 14 year-old Peter (Miles Thompson), alone.

Richard is white, his ex is Black, which makes his kids mixed. However, his child-rearing issues have nothing to do with their skin color, but rather with their sexuality, since both boys are precocious, computer savvy and erotically-inclined, a dangerous combination. Robby is arranging a park meeting with a grown woman after some exchanging steamy instant messages in an internet chat room while Peter is busy having threesomes with girls his own age when not hooking up with Sylvie (Carlie Westerman), a 10 year-old neighbor. As kinky as these scenarios sound, other subplots are just as sordid in this unseemly ensemble drama, such as the teasing teens who willingly expose themselves to a middle-aged Peeping Tom.

Strangely, the front story of “Me and You and Everyone We Know� involves a conventional, old-fashioned romance between Richard and a customer, Christine, played by first-time director Miranda July. Miranda makes a debut noteworthy for its shedding light on a slice of today's hyper-sexualized world, and primarily from the perspective of unprotected youngsters. Though we might not like to see such a matter-of-fact presentation of so much perversion, especially involving children, this super-realistic flick triggers in the viewer a sudden shock of recognition that these taboos have likely become mainstream. Who would dare deny that lines are being crossed, and flagrantly, especially when we live in an age when a pop star can safely boast about sharing his bed with little boys. Set mostly in middle-class environs around L.A., this movie thus delivers a sobering message suggesting that you either monitor your children's activities or brace yourself for the bizarre sort of fallout found here. Frightening, fascinating and informative, all at the same time.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity and
disturbing sexual themes involving
children.
Running time:
90 minutes
Studio: IFC Films

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