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Me, Too: Living With Down Syndrome, Romantic Foibles and All

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Me, Too
Directed by lvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro
Olive Films
Opens November 19, Cinema Village

Thirty-four-year-old Daniel (Pablo Pineda) is trapped between opposing worlds—internal and external, his truth and what the world projects and assumes about him. Born with Down syndrome, he’s also a college graduate whose side passion is art. After getting a job working for an advocacy group (his co-workers’ cheery support barely masks their patronizing attitudes), he falls for office mate Laura (Lola Dueñas), a blowsy bleached blonde given to drinking and smoking too much, and unsatisfying one-night stands. The hands of writer-directors Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro are undeniably heavy in the world they’ve constructed—not only in the complicated relationship between Daniel and Laura, but also in a subplot about a young couple who both have Down syndrome and battle the girl’s mother to be together, and in the clichéd backstory of Laura’s estrangement from her family. It’s the film’s performances that hold it all together. The cast is uniformly fine, especially Pineda and Dueñas. When Daniel’s brother counsels him to forget Laura, saying, “Fall in love with women you can get,” the look of despair and longing on Pineda’s face devastates, and the film powerfully hits the note of universalism that is its goal; haven’t many of us fallen for someone that we, they, and the world deem out of our league?

 
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