I have an unhealthy obsession with terrible Christian films, and the Christiano brothers have never disappointed in providing mindless or blatantly ignorant messages by way of a hokey, poorly written story. So it’s probably not surprising that I was eager to pick up Dave Christiano’s Me & You, Us, Forever when I learned of its recent release. But what made M&YUF seem an even greater gem, to me, was the unbelievable premise.
Me & You, Us, Forever… it sounds like a pretty creepy title, don’t it? Well, there’s a good reason for it. The film is a semi-autobiographical story of a man named Dave. Dave has found himself on the wrong end of a divorce – and now, upset about his marriage’s end, he has begun to fantasize about his high school girlfriend, whom he broke up with thirty years ago.
It’s a slow moving film, insomuch as there is not a lot of action. But that’s not to say that the movie isn’t consistently entertaining. When he begins thinking about his ex-girlfriend, Dave has a habit of looking off into space and dreaming about the two of them together at age sixteen, doing such romantic things as walking down the street. He is constantly asking his co-workers whether they have ever dreamt about meeting up with their high school crushes, and they understandably are kind of worried that Dave is, I don’t know, acting sort of creepy.
It’s not long before he begins fantasizing about meeting up with “the one that got away”, even though she is married and living in New York. He doesn’t think that there’s any problem with that, it’ll be totally cool, you know? He’s not trying to like steal her away from her husband, you know? All Dave is hoping to accomplish is to get her alone and tell her how much he still loves her and wishes he could be with her and maybe she’ll fall in love with him all over again and then life will be perfect.
Dave’s frustrated co-workers encourage him to go to a divorce counseling thing at their local church, which only encourages Dave to use his alleged “Christianity” as an excuse for acting more like a creepy stalker. He befriends a woman at the divorce sessions, but uses their time together only to talk about how perfect his ex-girlfriend was. She wonders with a friend whether he might like her, but in his mind it’s sixteen year old girls forever.
Of course, it’s doesn’t take too long before Dave decides that he must go to New York and see her. The way he sees it is that there can only be two ways that this trip will end, both equally as likely:
1. She will be happily married and will thank him for coming to see her, but decline his offer of undying love.
2. She will have divorced her own husband four years ago and been waiting for him to come and sweep her off her feet once again.
Both situations, as I said, are equally as likely. As Dave sits in a hotel room five miles from his ex-girlfriend’s house, detailing his plan to scope out her home beforehand to determine when her husband will leave so he can approach her without being beaten up by her reasonably jealous spouse, the girl that Dave had befriended at the couseling sessions asks, for the first time, “Don’t you think you seem kind of like a stalker?”
To which Dave responds, “Whose side are you on, anyway?”
Normally, I would go ahead and detail for you exactly what happens after Dave finally follows through on his frightening plan. But this is a supremely funny movie, only made better when you look at it not just as Dave Christiano making a feature-length fantasy world for himself, but instead as a portrait of a man who is extremely sick and needs professional help. Unfortunately, his friends direct him to a church instead of a professional grief counselor and he merely spirals further and further into madness. And then there’s the whole thing about Dave using his Christianity to justify his creepy feelings. At one point, he even tells the church divorce group that it’s good to fantasize about other women when you are in a divorce. I’m no Biblical scholar, but isn’t there some sort of commandment or something against coveting?
It’s kind of sick to imagine that director Dave Christiano is actually like his character in this film. Does he really think that it reflects well on him? Does he think that he’s presenting himself as a good, upstanding Christian man? Is he really oblivious to how disturbing and hypocritical he makes himself seem?
To conclude: Me & You, Us, Forever is a hilarious, perversely demented film that is more a portrait of a man who is reaching a mid-life crisis that could result in some horrific event (who scopes out his ex-girlfriend’s place while sitting in a dark hotel room with a dufflebag?) than it is a Christian film. Jesus gets mentioned repeatedly, but anything that Jesus stood for is totally missing. Honestly, this is too perfectly inept to be true.
And I didn’t even talk about the repetitive, depressing score. Or the terrible actors. It’s so unbelievably bad and therefore unbelievably awesome. I kinda sorta loved this movie.