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YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
USA: TSG Pictures
UK: Momentum Pictures
Cast: Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin, Matthew Broderick, Jon Tenney, J Smith-Cameron, Ken Lonergan
Director: Ken Lonergan
USA: 109 mins
UK: 110 mins
USA Rated: R for language, some drug use and a scene of sexuality
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, moderate sex and one scene of drug use
USA Release Date: 10 November 2000
UK Release Date: 23 March 2001
YOU CAN COUNT ON ME is the directorial debut of Kenneth Lonergan, who also wrote the screenplay and is about a sister and brother - Sammy (Laura Linney) and Terry Prescott (Mark Ruffalo) - who were raised in Scottsville, a small, quiet town in upstate New York. Orphaned as children, Sammy and Terry have remained close, even as they have led very different and separate lives. Sammy is a churchgoing single mother working in the local Scottsville bank and devoted to her 8-year-old son Rudy (Rory Culkin). Terry is a drifter moving from state to state working odd jobs, getting into trouble and occasionally landing in jail.
The thing keeps them together is the family home left to them by their parents. When Terry comes to visit Sammy hoping to borrow money, this home soon becomes the meeting place for their hearts and minds as they struggle to reconcile their conflicting lives with the love that, for better or worse, irrevocably binds them together. It is obvious at their first meeting that each sibling is uneasy with who the other has become, but Terry is learning to straighten up because of the developing relationship with Sammy's son, Rudy, unfortunately Sammy 's ordered life is fast disappearing with Terry around.
Now that her small-town exterior has been stripped away to reveal the passionate woman underneath, Sammy begins to push the limits of all her relationships and to reevaluate her own less-than-perfect life. This results in an affair with Brian (Matthew Broderick), her new boss at the bank, and a marriage proposal from her on-again, offagain boyfriend, Bob (Jon Tenney). Everyone is testing the volatile waters of this promising new family landscape... until a well-intentioned visit to Rudy's biological father turns disastrous.
In the end, each member of this modem family must learn to separate the kind of love that matters from the kind that does not. Ultimately, they try to put things right again through a simple exchange of the unspoken words: "You can count on me."