Adult siblings Sammy Prescott and Terry Prescott have had a special bond with each other since they were kids when their parents were tragically killed in a car accident. That bond is why single mom Sammy, who still lives in the family home in Scottsville, upstate New York with her eight year old son Rudy, is excited to hear that Terry, who she has not seen or heard from in a while, is coming home for a visit. That excitement is dampened slightly upon Terry's arrival, when she learns that he, broke, is only there to borrow money. As adults, Sammy, who works as a lending officer in the local bank, is seen as the responsible sibling, while unfocused Terry is seen as the irresponsible drifter. Regardless, Sammy welcomes what ends up being Terry's longer than planned visit if only so that he can help take care of Rudy, who has no adult male figure in his life. Rudy has never known his deadbeat biological father, with whom Sammy wants nothing to do. As Terry - acting as the supposed adult ... Written by
Not all stories need a crisis for the characters to resolve or an issue to press to be compelling. Some stories are just slices of our workaday worlds, packaged and presented in such a way as to entertain us. "You Can Count on Me" is one such story, and its cinematic telling results in one of the best movies of 2000.
The story's protagonists are two siblings, Sammy (Laura Linney), a divorced, single mom living the middle-class life in her small up-state New York hometown, and Terry, her foot-loose, presumed screw-up, brother. Apparently, he rarely visits, but when he does its because he wants something, usually money. "You Can Count on Me" recounts one such visit. That's about it plot-wise. But the movie looks deeper into their lives; Terry's impact on Sammy's 8-year old son, Sammy's relationship with her old boyfriend, and her new boss, Terry and Sammy and their differing expectations of one another.
I hope this doesn't sound boring, because it's not. The movie illustrates these lives and relationships without Freudian analysis or angst. Things are what they are, and it's a treat to share them.
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