Everything Unspoken (2004)
In the spirit of Godard, Cassavetes, and Jarmusch, Everything Unspoken follows a couple as they struggle to face up to their own and each other’s limitations and aspirations. Clayton Price and his live in girlfriend are unemployed and frustrated. In their early thirties, they’ve seen the initial promises of youth begin to fade. When it seems their passion for each other has begun to fade, too, they struggle with how to move on. Set against the backdrop of New York City, the film follows them in their separate struggles to find meaning and purpose in their lives. Everything Unspoken presents a world where everything is familiar, yet strange. Where the older generation in the form of each character’s mentor: an older writer and a family friend reveals that the struggles of the present are not so different from the struggles of the past. The outward trappings may appear different: sexual and emotional dysfunction, disease, an increasing sense of gloom about the value and nature of true love, and the separation of the haves from the have nots. But the essential struggle is the same. We must go on. We can’t go on. We’ll go on. As their intimacy dissolves and their relationship begins to crumble, Clayton is unable to reach out and communicate his innermost self with the only person who may truly love him. She, meanwhile, discovers that happiness might not involve an earth-shattering epiphany, but rather a return to the simplest things: a glass of wine, an afternoon in the sun, a pair of ballet slippers. He finds the darkest places that lurk inside all of us; she finds not “happiness,” but a way forward. Everything Unspoken is at once a paean to New York City, and a stark representation of our modern lives. It is a study of the value and nature of love, and a vivisection of the need to live in a future that is always promised, but never guaranteed. It is a visceral, emotional experience that reveals the one life secret we all know, but struggle so hard to accept: life may not work out the way you planned, but what is important is the willingness to go on.