Me Too, or the normalcy of being different
Daniel is 34, lives in Seville, holds a university degree, lands a government job working with handicapped people – and has Downs Syndrome. He falls in love with his co-worker Laura, a woman from Madrid fleeing her father and herself. “No woman with 46 chromosomes will fall in love with you,” says his pragmatic brother. But Daniel is tenacious: “We are just like everyone else, we are men and women”, he says.
With Me Too [+see also:
film profile], in competition at the Lecce Festival of European Cinema, directors Alvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro depict with gentleness and humour the difficult attempts of people with Downs Syndrome to live normal lives; and the unhappiness and frustration they often feel, when they are misunderstood by even their own families.
But Daniel (a superb Pablo Pineda who infuses his childlike yet wrinkled face with a thousand nuances) is one of the ones who’s “made it”. He is intelligent, educated and can win the heart of a “normal” woman (Lola Dueñas, who won a Goya for her wonderful performance), enjoy sex. In other words, he can make himself happy, fulfilling the emotional and sexual needs that everyone has, even those with extra chromosomes.
Forget the I Am Sams or Rain Men of American cinema. Here we have the erotic dreams of a “small”, determined man who in order to make Laura laugh in an elevator pretends to be mentally handicapped before a couple of strangers. Or who uses a banana to teach two young people with Downs Syndrome, who are running away to be together, how to have safe sex with a condom.
The two directors capably maintain the film’s emotional tension and only Laura’s trip to Madrid, to show us her family problems, somewhat slows down the last part of a film that merits international visibility.
(Translated from Italian)
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