YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
Lonely & Confused
Release Date: November 10, 2000
Starring: Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo,
Matthew Broderick, & Rory
Audience: Older teenagers & adults
Runtime: 111 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Classics
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Executive Producer: Martin Scorsese, Steve Carlis,
Donald Carter, & Morton
Producer: John N. Hart, Jeffrey Sharp,
Larry Meistrich, & Barbara De
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Address Comments To:Paramount Classics
A division of Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Phone: (323) 956-2000
Fax: (323) 862-1103
Orphaned in childhood, Samantha is a single mother who works as a manager at a local bank in Scottsville. Her younger brother, Terry, is a drifter who comes to visit Sammy in the house their parents left them. Sammy starts an affair with her new boss, whose wife is pregnant. Terry develops a growing relationship with his sister’s 8-year-old son, Rudy. This brings out the endearing qualities in Terry, but Terry decides to introduce Rudy to the father who abandoned him and his mother. The meeting is disastrous and threatens to tear Sammy and Terry apart forever.
Despite its final humanistic loneliness and its confused characters who behave in strongly anti-biblical ways, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME is not as loathsome as other movies containing such things. For instance, Sammy continually tries to help her brother find himself, and the relationship between Rudy and Terry is touching.
Still, the direction in this movie seems confused, as if the filmmakers haven’t fully developed the characters and their situations. This is especially true of Sammy’s character (wonderfully played by Laura Linney, however). Thus, Sammy is a churchgoer and tries to get Terry interested in God, yet she commits adultery. Also, the story ends on an anti-climactic note, as if writer/director Kenneth Lonergan suffers from an irrational, postmodern fear and loathing of having anyone call his movie uplifting, sentimental or spiritual. A dour, ineffectual priest who tries to help Sammy and Terry just adds to this feeling.
Therefore, although you can count of Jesus Christ, you can’t count on YOU CAN COUNT ON ME.
Sammy continually tries to help her brother find himself, but YOU CAN COUNT ON ME ends on a lonely humanistic note and its confused characters behave in strongly anti-biblical ways at times. Thus, Sammy is a churchgoer and tries to get Terry interested in God, yet she commits adultery. A dour, ineffectual priest who tries to help Sammy and Terry just adds to this feeling of angst