Me Without You (or: I just can’t get enough fishnet and taffeta)
This song randomly found its way into my life twice yesterday afternoon, and it inspired me to watch the movie it always makes me think of, Me Without You, by British director Sandra Goldbacher.
Me Without You details the mega-intense friendship between Holly (Michelle Williams) and Marina (Anna Friel), from their adolescence in the 70s through to adulthood in 2001. I love that the film explores the complexity of friendship. It’s rare for a film to address the truth that sometimes young friendship is even more fraught than young love, and that it can be every bit as consuming and confusing.
From a style perspective I’m most impressed by how the costume designer managed to bring the issues between the two women, their particular ways of being in the world and relating to one another, into the costuming. Marina is brash and extreme. Holly is quiet and sensitive. When the two are together Marina dominates. So do her outfits. My favourite example of this is when the girls crash Marina’s older brother’s girlfriend’s party in their ridiculous, awesome attempts at punk – dresses made of garbage bags.
I love how Marina has an one-shouldered, fitted, sort of cute thing going on, while Holly is quite clearly… wearing a garbage bag. Aw.
This trend (sex kitten partnered with somewhat dowdy sidekick) follows them through university:
(How much do you love that she wears that to class? Undoubtedly she hasn’t been home since before last night’s coke binge.)
(The best part about this outfit is she’s wearing a tiara. At least, she was last night. She might have lost it sometime during that coke binge.)
and into adulthood:
There aren’t a whole lot of outfits (if any) in this film that I would actually, erm, like to wear. This is sort of surprising, given that the credits prominently thank Stella McCartney for Chloé. Still, I loved watching how the characters developed and years passed via the costuming.
Also, this is one of the movies I put on when I start to despair about the possibility of love in the world (see also: When Harry Met Sally).
The chemistry between Michelle Williams and Oliver Milburn (Nat. Marina’s brother. Yes, things get complicated.) is, how do you say, intensée*. The swooning energy of it pins me to my seat every time they’re together on screen. So good.
You should watch it.
*not a real word.