Friday, June 23, 2017

You and Me (1974)

          Logic might suggest that any marquee-name actor who desires to direct a movie can aggregate the necessary resources for a slick production, but projects on the order of You and Me prove that’s not always true. Despite being at the apex of his Kung Fu fame, David Carradine scraped together only a meager budget for this gentle road movie about a biker bonding with a little boy. Presumably Carradine prioritized creative autonomy over production values, because You and Me nearly has the feel of a home movie. For instance, the picture features cameos by the director’s brothers, Keith and Robert Carradine, as well as an appearance by his then-girlfriend, Barbara Hershey (billed as “Barbara Seagull”). It also sounds as if she and Carradine sing the folksy theme song together. Yet while David Carradine may have had an enjoyable experience working with family and friends, the pleasure doesn’t fully transfer to the audience. You and Me is harmless, and the simple story radiates enough warmth to make the experience of watching the movie palatable, but the characters are one-dimensional at best, and nothing of consequence happens.
          In the opening scenes, Zeto (David Carradine) and two biker buddies harass the customers of a small roadside bar, leading to the death of a random dude. Zeto splits from his buddies, the better to evade capture, and happens upon young Jimmy (Chipper Chadbourne), the son of an irresponsible welfare mom. Jimmy talks his way into Zeto’s company, tagging along while Zeto hides at a small farm operated by Wynona (Bobbi Shaw). She hires Zeto as a handyman, but she also has eyes on a permanent romantic situation. Eventually, authorities investigating the murder at the bar discover clues pointing to Zeto’s whereabouts, so a small measure of dramatic tension enters the mix.
          Always an interesting actor, Carradine works his most appealing groove here, the philosophical wanderer. Yet the storytelling in You and Me is cryptic to a fault, so Carradine’s character seems more opaque than intriguing. Similarly, the relationship between the biker and the boy is hard to believe. Nonetheless, there are worse ways to idle away 90-ish minutes. Every so often, a familiar face comes along (beyond the aforementioned, Gary Busey appears in one scene), and a generalized sense of humanism and sincerity pervades the piece, even if the storytelling mechanics are clumsy.

You and Me: FUNKY

1 comment:

Cindylover1969 said...

Well, at least Barbara He.. Seagull isn't sporting in horrendous yellowface (see her guest appearance on Kung Fu).