Whimsical yearning is the prevailing mood of this feature debut from writer-director-actress Miranda July, a fanciful yet sincere tale of interconnected narratives that hopes to be about, well, Me and You and Everyone We Know. July plays a mousy video artist who pines after a department-store clerk (John Hawkes) who has shared custody of his two sons who are teased by a pair of teen girls in the neighborhood who dangerously flirt with the older co-worker of the clerk. And so on. Much of this is far too precious – it’s mostly for adults who impulsively put socks on their ears, as a character does here – but now and then July hits on a sequence that’s magical: one involving a goldfish left in a bag on top of a moving car is inexplicably wrenching. Such moments, however, aren’t enough to make up for other awkwardness, namely the performances (even by Hawkes) and an insistence that almost all of the sexually graphic elements involve children. Such charged material isn’t necessarily out of bounds, but it requires more than a twee touch.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Back in black (and white and red)