to share my life with you
20th Century Women offers up multiple narrators and the convergence of several stories. A mother. A son. Their tenants. His girlfriend (of a sort).
The mother, Dorothea (Annette Bening) tells the story of the son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) and vice versa. Others tell their own stories, though not in the same kind of voiceover.
(Mike Mills trivia note: the family name here, Fields, is the same as in Beginners.)
Dorothea has a fairly open-door policy about the house. She invites a fireman over to her birthday dinner, for example, after he helps put out their car fire. The girlfriend, Julie (Elle Fanning) comes and goes as she pleases, even when Jamie is not home. Dorothea asks Julie and Abbie (Greta Gerwig) to help her raise Jamie as a good man. (Then, interestingly, she tells Jamie that she asked them.) Though it's a common theme, it's done especially well--these people form a family even though they are not all related. Jamie tries to spread his wings with friends, but keeps circling back around Julie and Abbie.
As you do. The circling, I mean. Form up your makeshift family our of close friends and do your best to keep them around. Sometimes fail. Maybe often fail, if you're like me. But, still, you try. Or you find new circles, new friends, new families. And you build your self among them, out of them, for them, in response to them, in spite of them. With them. Without them. If you're lucky, you share each other's joys, each other's pain, each other's hopes, each other's fears...
And, that got a little corny.
But, I think that's okay.