Dustin Cook’s family drama is a brilliant and tragic picture of two sons forever strapped down to their mother. Too often has this image resonated where kids feel not only constrained to their parents, but dutiful despite their own unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Cook’s short drama is immediately a compelling character study that explores how families can become a burden and how the children, grown or young, can be forced to forever keep their burden.
What Michel Gondry does is take some of the most realistic and unique teenagers from the South Bronx, plants them on a public bus, and creates what is basically his own “The Breakfast Club” with the aimlessness of “Dazed and Confused.” Every character is put on to the bus by circumstance and come to some sense of realization by the end of the ride that will likely have no effect on their personal lives. In the end, every character in “The We and the I” are victims of peer pressure and their home lives, and are just ships passing in to the night. Filled with a cast of young actors that were cast right out of the South Bronx and honed to work with Gondry for their characters, “The We and the I” is a pretty excellent dramedy about the modern teenager that never sugarcoats their dynamics.