The We and the I
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The We and the I offers a realistic look at a bunch of New York high school students taking a city bus home on the last day of school. All the teenage drama you'd expect is present as characters flirt, bicker, tease, and show off. The film captures youth in all its glory, and the teens all look, act, and sound exactly like real people. Expect near-constant swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), and some flashback scenes that include underage people drinking at parties (sometimes to the point of unconsciousness) and smoking cigarettes. Many characters talk about sex, and a few are actually shown fooling around, again in flashbacks, with some very brief nudity (breasts).
What's the story?
On the last day of school, a high-spirited crowd of New York high school students pile onto a city bus to make their way home through the Bronx. Director Michel Gondry sets all of THE WE AND THE I during this journey, as kids flirt, bicker, brag, and show off. The young actors look and sound just like real teens, and it's easy to see the shifting dynamics of friendships, sometimes fraught with conflict and tension and sometimes marked by the easy-natured interactions between close pals. Boys loudly jockey for position within their group, while girls do the same thing, though quietly and with more subtlety. All the while, potential couples warily circle each other, sometimes managing to make a connection.
Is it any good?
The We and the I is a thrilling look at youth, capturing the mood so perfectly that it almost feels like it could be a documentary. The stakes are low -- who will get invited to a party?, which couples will manage to connect? -- but they're exactly the things that seem so crucial to young people, and Gondry nails every rebuff and tentative connection.
The characters all have history with each other; they've been together in school for years, and they ride home together most afternoons. The film reveals the casual shorthand of people who know each other well and gradually makes it clear which ones have real connections and which are just long-time acquaintances. The beauty of the movie is discovering that so many of the passengers on the bus are just like people we all know.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the teens in The We and the I. Do they seem like real people? Do they remind you of anyone you know? How do they compare to other movie teens?
What do you think about the various groups of friends in the film? Is it easy to tell how the characters relate to each other? Do the cliques seem familiar?