You Can Count on Me is a 2000 movie, starring Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin and Matthew Broderick, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan. It tells the story of Sammy, a single mother living in a small Catskill town and her complicated relationships with family and friends.
For a school writing assignment, Rudy imagines his unknown father as a fantastic hero. Sammy only gives him vague descriptions of the truth while Terry lets his feelings be known about Rudy Sr.'s abandonment. Sammy rekindles a relationship with an old boyfriend, but is surprised when he proposes to her after a short time. She responds that she needs time to consider it.
At the bank, Brian (Matthew Broderick) is the new manager who tries to make his mark with unusual demands about computer color schemes and daily timesheets. He is particularly tough on Sammy, requesting that she make arrangements for someone else to pick up her son from the school bus rather than leaving work. After some minor arguments they end up having an affair, despite Brian's wife being six months pregnant.
Meanwhile Terry grows close to Rudy during the time they spend together. Yet he pushes the limits of Sammy's parental control during a late night game of pool at a bar. She turns to her minister (Kenneth Lonergan) to counsel Terry about his outlook on life. He resists his sister's advice but stays on good terms with his nephew. Realizing her own questionable decisions, Sammy turns down her boyfriend's marriage proposal and breaks off her relationship with Brian.
After a day of fishing together, Terry and Rudy decide to visit Rudy Sr. in Auburn. Confronted by his past, Rudy Sr. (Josh Lucas) is incensed, leading Terry to assault him and get arrested. Sammy brings her brother and son home the next morning and asks Terry to move out, which he does the next day. He plans to go back to the coast and scoffs at Sammy's suggestion to remain in town and get his life back on track. At first, it appears the separation will be another heartache, but they reconcile before Terry leaves, coming to terms with their individual life styles.
Boston Society of Film Critics Award (2000)
Humanitas Prize (2001)
Independent Spirit Awards (2001)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards (2000)
Montreal World Film Festival (2000)
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (2000)
National Society of Film Critics Awards (2001)
New York Film Critics Circle Awards (2000)
Satellite Awards (2001)
Sundance Film Festival (2000)
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards (2000)
Writers Guild of America Award (2001)