Me Without You (film)

Me Without You is a 2001 British film, starring Anna Friel, Michelle Williams and Oliver Milburn, and written and directed by Sandra Goldbacher.

Me Without You
Me Without You poster.jpg
Directed bySandra Goldbacher
Produced bySteve Christian
Finola Dwyer
Jonathan Olsberg
Written bySandra Goldbacher
Laurence Coriat
StarringAnna Friel
Michelle Williams
Kyle MacLachlan
Oliver Milburn
Music byAdrian Johnston
CinematographyDenis Crossan
Edited byMichael Ellis
Distributed byMomentum Pictures
Release date
  • 23 November 2001 (2001-11-23)
Running time
107 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film follows the troubled relationship between two girls as they grow up. Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it "psychologically savvy ... story of a toxic friendship, established in early childhood, whose poisons continue to circulate and infect both well into their adult lives."[1]


This drama charts the development of the friendship between two different girls living in the UK, Holly (Michelle Williams) and Marina (Anna Friel), from their teenage years during the late 1970s to the present day.

The first scene depicts the girls at 12 years old in 1973. Although they are next-door neighbours, they come from different backgrounds. Holly is Jewish and has an overprotective mother, while Marina has a mother who is much more laid back and a father who is almost never around. At this point, Holly develops a crush on Marina's older brother, Nat.

The film then cuts to 1978, which finds them lying on Marina's bed smoking because they're bored. Later, Marina runs over to Holly's house to tell her that she has found out about a party that Nat's girlfriend, Carolyn, is having. When the girls get to the party, the others ask if they would like to "play a game", although the "game" simply involves shooting heroin. Nat's girlfriend soon leaves with two other guys; while Marina wants to follow them, Holly begs her not to. However, when Marina gets up to leave, Holly kisses Nat and the two end up sleeping together. Marina sees them and becomes angry, telling Holly that Nat only had sex with her because he was stoned and probably did not even recognize her. The next morning, Nat wakes up Marina and asks her to give a note to Holly that says what happened last night was "beautiful" but a case of bad timing, and that he looks forward to their future. However, Marina angrily rips up the note and goes to see Holly who is sitting in her yard reading a book. When Holly asks Marina if Nat said anything about the night before, Marina lies, and says "no", but reassures Holly that they will always have each other.

The film then jumps to 1982, when Holly and Marina are attending university together. They are sleeping with the same professor; a man that Marina had at first thought boring. Nat comes to visit, and he and Holly reconnect. Holly decides she wants to be with him. But, when she goes to end things with her professor, she sees Marina kissing him goodbye. She runs back to Nat, so upset she forgets about the relationship they were about to enter. Holly soon confronts Marina and the two fight. While Marina soon makes up with Holly, she ruins things between Holly and Nat by telling them both that the other one did not want to talk. Later on, the three of them are reunited at a New Year's party, where Nat announces his intention to marry his girlfriend, Isabel.

The next scene finds the girls in their late 20s, in 1989. Holly is a writer, dating a man Marina has chosen for her. Marina is dating a Jewish doctor. Nat comes over to Holly's place and tells her he talks to her in his head all the time. They are interrupted by Holly's boyfriend returning, at which point she tells Nat to leave. Shortly thereafter, she decides she wants to go to America, but Marina tries to stop her by telling her she is pregnant.

Some time later, the characters are reunited at another New Year's Eve party. While playing "Guess Who?", Nat begins to describe someone in a very deep way. Holly guesses Isabel, but Isabel claims it's Holly. Marina says she's bored with this game and they should play sardines. As they wander through the dark house, Marina begins to kiss Holly's boyfriend. Holly and Nat then find each other, however, and Holly tells him she also talks to him all the time in her head. When Holly's boyfriend refuses her advances, Marina freaks out and runs outside. Holly confronts her, and tells her they have to stop being friends. Marina tells her "there's no me without you!" Holly tells her there is. As Holly walks away, Nat catches up to her and asks if he can come. The two take a bus together.

The final scene finds the characters in 2001. Nat and Holly have a daughter, and Marina has a daughter and a son. Marina and Holly do not appear as close as they once were, although each accepts the other's presence for the sake of their two young daughters, who appear to be best friends.



Rotten Tomatoes, the movie review aggregation site, gave the movie a 66% rating based on 65 reviews.[2]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 and a half stars and said the film "has a bracing truth that's refreshing after the phoniness of female-bonding pictures like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." He said that the film's treatment of character of Daniel was "rare" for a film of this sort in that had a "depth" "instead of simply being used as a plot ploy." He called Williams' performance a "surprise" for having a "perfectly convincing British accent, and is cuddly and smart both at once."[3] Lou Carlozo of the Chicago Tribune praised the on screen chemistry between Friel and Williams.[4]

Critic Richard Nilsen, however, said "Although the film deserves some points for trying to describe the intensity of best-friendship between girls, it fails to make them interesting people."[5] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said it was the "kind of chick flick that gives chick flicks a bad name."[4]


  1. ^ Stephen Holden (5 July 2002). "Movie Review: Me Without You". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Me Without You". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  3. ^ Roger Ebert (16 August 2002). "Me Without You". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ Richard Nilsen (20 September 2002). "Me Without You". hosted at Rotten Tomatoes. originally published Arizona Republic. Retrieved 18 November 2012.

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