You and Me and Me (2023) Movie Review: ‘You and Me and Me’ (Original title: Thoe kap chan kap chan) is a remarkably evocative film. For a script that essentially explores a trope-driven narrative of a love triangle, it works because of the delicate handling of its characters’ emotional journey. We meet twin sisters You and Me (both characters played by Thitiya Jirapornsilp) as teenagers going through their coming-of-age journeys.
You and Me look uncannily similar – to the point it becomes impossible to figure out who is who – for a stranger. The sisters take complete advantage of this scenario and often play a switcheroo for their own amusement. On one such occasion, they decide to fool their classmates by acting in each other’s roles.
There are minor differences between the two. Me has a tiny, black mole on her cheek, and You doesn’t. Me considers it as her beauty spot, which she believes to be the reason for guys getting attracted to her. They have slightly different hairstyles. Their general demeanor also has nominal differences as any other humans do. But they are experts at masking those and playing each other.
You experiences an extra bit of attention being in Me’s shoes. Meanwhile, Me witnesses a guy named Mark (played by Anthony Buisseret) being infatuated with the You-version of hers. He meets her right outside a common test and makes a ballsy gesture for her – something you wouldn’t do just for anyone. Me, however, do not share this with You.
Back at home, the sisters face the brunt of their parent’s probable separation. Considering their summer break, their mother Nim (played by Supaksorn Chaimongkol) brings them back to their grandma’s ancestral home. Mark comes into real-You’s life and surprises her with his romantic interest. He gradually expresses it to the point they seek each other’s presence.
However, the conflict comes with a predictable obstacle – their identical appearance. The question is – whose personality is Mark in love with? The script written by Wanweaw Hongvivatana & Weawwan Hongvivatana introduces a few cliches in this arc of romance. Nevertheless, their direction elevates the script’s weak spots with an undeniably tender approach to narration.
What strikes out the most in this Thai film, and makes you occasionally weep, is how patiently it explores the character’s psyche. The performances are so well-realized that there will often be more to unearth. Thitiya Jirapornsilp leads this drama with undeniable grace and emotional maturity. She creates a wonderful distinction between the twin characters with such believability that I had to confirm online that the same actor is playing them!
Despite its share of tropes, the script carefully handles the aspects of growth and maturity. The girls, who just started hitting puberty, experience the beauty of love and the pains of separation in perhaps the most crucial part of their lives.
While they shared almost everything until then, they couldn’t share whom they love. It hits them at the ripe moment of the Y2K scare, which gives the ‘end of the world’ its own metaphorical meaning in their little world. They can’t fathom the loss of what they had for years. It resonates because we have all been there one or the other way. Be it the distance from our first love or a pivotal change in our lives, even the smallest ripple feels like the biggest tragedy at that age.
The directors are empathetic toward this aspect and, thus, manage to present how it feels to grow and evolve into a new version of oneself. Besides that, the script also handles the subject of divorce without scrutiny. It feels particularly refreshing to see this acceptance of two people growing apart. It is only natural, and its acceptance makes it bearable for everyone to handle the changes afterward.
On a side note, this is not the only Thai film that has played around with the characters’ confusing names to make a point. Thitipong Kerdtongtawee’s OMG! Oh, My Girl also used ‘Guy’ as its male character’s name to express any guy’s dilemma in his shoes. ‘You and Me and Me’ plays around with the dilemma of twins. The names reflect the confusion of twins about their identities, which further goes along with their close-knit bond.
You and Me are inseparable, and the Hongvivatana siblings’ charming take on their relationship amplifies the film’s emotional resonance multi-fold.