Thousands of movies have featured two-timing men and women sneaking behind their partner's backs. In Me You Them, everything is out in the open. The woman and three men who cohabit in Me You Them are brought together by poverty and lust. After deciding to share a small, mud-enforced house in the middle of nowhere, they learn to overcome their differences and live side-by-side. It's not always easy. All three men are involved with Darlene, and all three get jealous knowing she sleeps around. They put up with it because she is beautiful, sassy, smart, and accommodating. She also gets pregnant easily, bearing sons for each man.
Dark-haired and curvaceous, Darlene (played by veteran Brazilian actress Regina Cruz) is the heart and soul of Me You Them. Despite having to work in the fields, care for the family's children, and take orders from husband No. 1, she radiates warmth and affection.
The movie is based on a real-life household in Brazil; Waddington and screenwriter Elena Soarez reworked the story, accenting the humor but leaving in the rough conditions. There is no electricity in Darlene's house. No phone line. No beds (just hammocks). To get into the nearest town, family members have to use a donkey. Urban sophisticates would find the conditions unbearable. It's Survivor without the chance of fame, fortune, or escape. Instead of complaining all the time, the characters in Me You Them find humanity in their misfortune. When they go to the dirt-road town, it's to dance to music and drink a little. Making love by the water or in the fields turns a carnal act into a multi-sensory experience.
In Waddington's movie, the landscape of northeast Brazil is intoxicating. The sky and terrain stretch out for miles and miles without another person in sight. The vastness seems to heighten the characters' sense that they need each other. When they join the household, two of the husbands don't expect to stay long, but they soon realize how fulfilled they are there.
It's doubtful this gem will get much attention in the crowded marketplace of new releases, but it deserves special consideration. The acting is superb, the story is touching, and the cinematography is first-rate. I had never heard of Waddington before seeing this film, but I won't forget his name now. At the age of 30, he reportedly has already established himself as one of Brazil's most successful directors of commercials and music videos. Because of that connection, he was able to get world music star Gilberto Gil to compose the soundtrack for Me You Them. Gil's gorgeous songs are yet another reason to catch this film if you can.
Aka Eu, Tu, Eles.
Love on the rocks?
Run time: 104 mins
In Theaters: Friday 18th August 2000
Box Office Worldwide: $2.1M
Distributed by: SPC
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 14
IMDB: 7.1 / 10
Director: Andrucha Waddington
Producer: Flavio R. Tambellini, Leonardo M. de Barros, Pedro B. de Hollanda, Andrucha Waddington
Screenwriter: Elena Soarez
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