Joe’s So Mean to Josephine

Director: Peter Wellington
Screenwriters: Peter Wellington

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Joe’s So Mean to Josephine tells the provocative story about what happens to a new relationship after the initial stages of excitement wear off and all that’s left is two people who don’t have much in common. Josephine is caught in a nether world somewhere between college and a career. In walks Joe, a handsome, tough, alienated hood, who offers her exactly what she needs—excitement and danger. Josephine naively lures Joe into a relationship, only to find that all that lies behind that gruff exterior is a deeply troubled psyche. Joe, on the other hand, is falling hard for her and feels emotions that are totally new for him and that he can’t necessarily control. This alarms Josephine, who begins to concentrate more on her writing career and eventually breaks up with him, but Joe, in love for the first time, is not willing to call it quits.

With wonderful performances by Eric Thal and Sarah Polley, Joe’s So Mean to Josephine emphasizes how easily control can change from one partner to another within a relationship. Writer/director Peter Wellington does a great job of showing the sad injustice of not being in the right place at the right time, emotionally speaking, in someone else’s life.

— Mary Kerr

Screening Details

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