Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) is a fourteen year old loner, who seeks an escape from his mother and the therapy sessions she sends him too. Lorenzo lies about going on a week-long ski trip with his class and instead hides away in the basement of his family’s building. Lorenzo’s solitude is interrupted by the arrival of his older half-sister Olivia (Tea Falco), a recovering heroin addict, who is looking for a place to go cold turkey. Over the course of the next few days, these two estranged siblings steadily become closer with each other.
Me and You is Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci’s first feature film since 2003’s The Dreamers. Me and You is a similar type of film to The Dreamers, as it also takes place primarily in a single location with Lorenzo and Olivia being the only characters for much of the film. The film contrasts the differences in their personalities, while also slowly revealing that they have more in common than they realize. Their relationship begins as almost confrontational, especially since Olivia has been long estranged from the family over her dislike for Lorenzo’s mother (her step-mother). Olivia’s outspoken personality is the complete opposite of Lorenzo, who often keeps to himself by watching his ant farm or listening to music.
The use of music in Me and You is especially interesting. This is an Italian-language film, yet Lorenzo listens to various English-language rock bands, such as The Cure, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Arcade Fire. There is one scene late in the film, which involves Lorenzo and Olivia dancing together to David Bowie’s Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola, which is an Italian re-working of Space Oddity. This scene is undoubtedly the standout moment of the film, especially in how the lyrics of the song, “Lonely Boy, Lonely Girl,” relate perfectly to the relationship between Lorenzo and Olivia.
Although the dance scene is quite great, there are some elements of Me and You that don’t quite fit in with the rest of the film. In particular, there is a scene where Lorenzo dreams of his parents talking, while crawling on glass. It’s an interesting visual for sure, but in the scope of the film as a whole, it doesn’t really work. That said, all together Me and You is a nice little character study about the relationship between two siblings.