#209 | You Can Count On Me

After over 200 episode of Beyond The Box Set, I feel strongly that it’s important to take the occasional risk. You Can Count On Me was such a risk. A bittersweet, low-key character study about a dysfunctional brother and sister living wildly different lives but inextricably bound to each other through shared trauma, it doesn’t exactly scream ‘fun Podcast fodder’.

But dammit, I stand by it! It may not have gone over so well with a certain dead-inside co-host, but I unreservedly love this film. I also actually find it very funny, which turned out to be the single biggest bone of contention on this week’s episode.

Released in 2000, You Can Count On Me stars Mark Ruffalo as Terry, a 30-something drifter who makes a reluctant return to his home town to borrow money from his older sister Sammy (Laura Linney). Sammy adores Terry, but disapproves of his lifestyle and is heartbroken when she realises his real reason for coming to visit.

After an admittedly downbeat song, the film slowly takes on a more drily humorous tone as the characters show different sides of themselves. Ruffalo’s Terry is a ridiculous manchild, fundamentally well-intentioned, but prone to terrible decision-making and a spitefully bratty streak.

Meanwhile Linney’s character may be straight-laced and conservative on the surface, but she seems to be undergoing a mild crisis of her own – typified by the hilariously bleak affair she embarks on with the hated new manager at the bank where she works. He’s played by Matthew Broderick with the same exquisite patheticness that he brought to Election around the same time.

Sadly, the funnier parts of the film were a bit lost on my co-host, who found this film to be a bit of a slog, but there’s no accounting for taste. Tune into this week’s podcast to catch the full debate, plus drinking games, sequel pitches, listener reactions and one of the strangest cold open stories we’ve ever shared…

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Next week, watch out for emotional whiplash as we follow this tender family drama with one of the most insane movies we’ve ever discussed! Until then, happy listening and remember – critics said this film was amazing, which makes Harry’s opinion objectively wrong.