Forgoing the fantasy elements of past pictures of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Science of Sleep” and even his upcoming “Mood Indigo,” Michel Gondry‘s scrappy, lo-fi indie “The We and the I” is something outside of the box for the filmmaker. Putting his usual visual tools away, he gathered up a bunch of non-actors and put them on a bus to tell an ensemble story about a bunch of high school kids on the last day of school in the Bronx. And while it still waits for a U.S. distributor to come aboard, it hits theaters in France next month and the first clip from the movie has dropped. And it’s very loud.
We will give Gondry this much — he captures the often inane verbal squabbles that teens can get themselves into, even at the slightest hint at being offended. But otherwise, it’s a pretty tedious offering and when the kid in the back of the bus puts his fingers to his temple, we know exactly how he feels. Our review out of Cannes where it premiered this spring didn’t find much value in the pic, saying it found Gondry “mixing empty comedy with empty dramatics” before summarzing the movie as “an abject failure.” Ouch.
“The We and the I” opens on September 12th in France, but no date yet for the U.S.