Sammy and Terry Prescott were orphaned as children after the tragic death of both their parents in a car accident. The two have taken drastically divergent paths since childhood, Sammy being a single mother who has a simple yet stable life in a small town in upstate New York. Sammy on the other hand spends his time as a vagabond going from town to town, job to job, living a vastly unstable existence. When Sammy shows up at Terry's home, initially with the purpose of asking for money, the too rekindle their relationship, each learning not only about one and other, but also about themselves. Kenneth Lonergan's directorial debut, 'You Can Count On Me' is a sensitive, genuine portrait of two adult siblings that while their differences are vast, could learn a lot from one and other. The central performances by Laura Linney as the eccentric, protective mother and Mark Ruffalo as this fuck-up type character are both multi-dimensional and grossly affective. There is a great parallel between these two characters from Sammy, who on the surface looks to be living a nice, safe lifestyle, is tormented by her past and present mistakes and Terry, a caring yet somewhat confused character. The two siblings truly love each other very much but it's clear that their different viewpoints can at times make it hard for each of them to vocalize their feelings. This a character/relationship film through and through and the details and interactions between these two characters feel incredibly realistic and genuine. I particularly loved how the film deals with how these two characters have been affected by their parents death. It's really the backbone of the film, yet it is always in the background, not thumping the viewer over and over again, yet definitely a major influence in how these two characters were shaped. I don't think that Kenneth Lonergan views their parents tragedy as any type of excuse for these characters, rather showing the subtle reminders of how it helped create the type of people they have become and in the end showing how this is something which together, they can overcome.
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