Me and My Best Friend (2022 Film)

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Eu e Minha Melhor Amiga
Theatrical release poster
Directed byXimena Vielma
Written byCézar Carriço
Screenplay byDèbora Masip
Based onMe and My Best Friend: Recollections of Francisca Fraga
Produced byEmanuel Vega
Raimon Homedes
StarringÚrsula Rebelo
Rita Albuquerque
Isaac Henriques Roque
CinematographyMartim Ferreira
Edited byVirginia Cunha
Music byAbrahán Nievez
Oriental Studios
Distributed byOriental Studios (Paretia)
Release dates
20 October, 2022 (Montecara)
5 November, 2022 (Worldwide)
Running time
176 minutes
Budget€20 milliion

Me and My Best Friend (Luzelese: Eu e Minha Melhor Amiga, Esmeiran: Yo y Mi Mejor Amiga, Visegan: Eu e Meu Mellor Amiga, Tosuton: Jo i Meu Millor Amiga) is a Paretian historical biographical film based on Me and My Best Friend: Recollections of Francisca Fraga, an autobiography of the life of Francisca Fraga Palmeira, ex-wife of Carlos Palmeira and best friend to Roberta II. The film takes place over most of Fraga's life, and mostly focuses on the deteriorating friendship of Francisca (Úrsula Rebelo) and Roberta (Rita Albuquerque) and Francisca's escape from life in Functionalist Paretia. The film was released in all four languages of Paretia and in Gaullican.

The film is scheduled to release at the 83rd Montecara Film Festival in October and release internationally in November. It has retrieved praise, specifically Rita Albuquerque's performance as Queen Roberta II, depiction her descent into authoritarianism and paranoia as the Great War progressed.

Plot summary

The beginning takes place when Francisca is 13 years old. It is set at the death bed of Roberta II's brother, Prince Américo, who had suffered a severe case of influenza. Here Francisca tries to comfort Roberta. Francisca tells her that there are things to look forward to, and that her brother will be there to watch over her and will be proud. Roberta II will now take on the role of heir of the monarchy of Paretia, her father tells her. A year later Roberta and Francisca are talking in the Royal Palace, when the royal guards come and get Roberta and take her to her father, King Lourenço III. Francisca is confused as to why and asks the guards, the guards tell her that Roberta will be sent to join the military academy. In the Palace Lourenço III tells his daughter that he concerned for the state of the world and will begin to prepare her for being ruler of Paretia. Francisca and Roberta are separated for years, only meeting on a yearly basis. A short scene between Roberta and Francisca takes place when they meet for Francisca's 16th birthday, Francisca tells Roberta of her dream of becoming a leading figure for Paretian women, she tells Roberta that she should too, Roberta agrees.

The time period fast forwards to 1918. The state of the world has drastically changed over the years, worrying King Lourenço III. Francisca asks the King how her friend is doing. Roberta II is now at school studying political philosophy, he tells Francisca that Roberta is in Gaullica as part of her studies, he says she is meeting with the monarchs of the country. A few weeks later, Francisca is studying in an engineering school, she plans to become a train engineer. Roberta returns from her trip, carrying advertisements for the Parti Populaire, the functionalist political party lead by Rafael Duclerque. Roberta tells Francisca about her trip to Gaullica, and how she become close friends with the Prince Constantine III. She also tells her that she visited the political rallies of both left-wing and right-wing parties, but she particularly was interested in the Parti Populaire, the far-right party. She gives Francisca the advertisements that were given out at one of the rallies, she also tells her she was able to meet with the party's leader, Duclerque.

Francisca visits the Royal Palace again, she sees Lourenço III, who's health had begun to deteriorate, limping. She helps him walk, he is going to see his other son, Martim. Francisca sees the worried look on his face. But she doesn't know what is bothering him, and fails to ask. A year later Roberta begins to wear a militaristic uniform, Francisca asks why, Roberta says that her father's training and her research in political philosophy has made her prepared for what she calls "a coming world of turmoil". Francisca asks what she means by that, Roberta says "war". Later, at the wedding of a friend of both Francisca and Roberta II. Fraga asks Roberta if she could ever meet someone. Francisca if she plans on meeting someone, she replies that she feels no connection with many people anymore. Roberta says "I will fix that".

In 1920 Francisca has become officially a train engineer, and gets to be with her friend even less than before, one of the first female train engineers in the world. Roberta uses her royal influence to get her friend's recognition out there, with the goal of trying to get men interested in meeting her friend. Also in 1920 Roberta told Francisca about the events in Gaullica where the functionalists were able to take over, she tells her that she supports the new Gaullican state under Duclerque and Albert IV. Francisca begins to see Roberta's infatuation with functionalism begin to grow. Francisca gets news of the rising New Nation of Paretia Party, a functionalist political party lead by Carlos Palmeira. She speculates that Roberta will eventually join this party and support their political campaign. The next day, King Lourenço III, who's health is even worse than before, asks Francisca to come meet with him and Premier José Monteiro, he asks Francisca about her friends's support for the functionalists, and tells her about a plan to keep his daughter away from politics.

The next scene is the death bed of Lourenço III himself, who has succumbed to an unknown illness. Francisca is present. Roberta gets up and hugs her father and tells him "I will be what you want me to me, your people will be safe in my hands". He later dies of his illness. Roberta is coronated as Roberta II, the new Queen of Paretia. A few months later Francisca reads the news of Paretia's military expanding in scale. Roberta also visits a PNNP rally in Precea, here she finally meets Carlos Palmeira. She tells Francisca that she gave his party the monarch's support. And invites her to another rally, she says "I think you'll greatly appreciated meeting Palmeira." She goes along with Roberta and meets Carlito Palmeira, who she talks with. Carlos had lost his first wife to cancer in 1915. Carlos gives her a golden ring, and asks her if she'd like to go eat for dinner somewhere. Francisca agrees, Roberta watching the two hit it off in the background.

The two visit a restaurant on the bay of Precea. Despite being much older than her, Francisca seems to like Carlos initially, then he begins to talk politics, and becomes a different person, and Francisca becomes less interested. Francisca tells him to go back to what he was talking about before, his childhood, and the two are back to talking again. He tells her that he is proud to see a woman become an engineer and says that women will be apart of the functionalist society in a greater role than before. He says he believes Roberta will be an excellent monarch and hopes that she continues her support.

Francisca and Carlos continue dating and eventually marry later that year. Roberta again leaves for Gaullica and meets with the functionalist government there again in 1922. Roberta meets with Francisca often, she begins to call her by "Franci". Later that year Roberta officially joins the PNNP, alongside Francisca they form the Women's Section of the functionalist party. Roberta begins to enact pro-functionalist policies against the wishes of Premier Duarte Bonafacio. While Francisca is walking home in the streets of Precea, a street brawl between leftists and PNNP members occurs, Francisca is recognized as Palmeira' wife and is attacked by the leftists, but she escapes after the PNNP members protect her, she is injured after being hit in the head by a bat. The police let her got to the royal palace where Roberta hears the news, she says that Carlos and her plan on wiping out the socialist threat from the country. But she tells Francisca that the rising Democratic Party of Paretia under Xulio Sousa is becoming a problem, and the next election may be closer than expected, she seemingly ignores the fact Francisca was attacked.

The election is held in 1925, and the PDP win under Xulio Sousa. Enraged, Carlos sits alone in he and Francisca's house. The insuing conflict and riots in support of Carlos and the PNNP. Carlos is eating with Francisca when supporters come to his house, along with them is a royal guard who asks Carlos to come to the palace, he leaves Francisca alone. After waiting for hours, Francisca leaves the house to see what her husband is doing, she sees military vehicles in the streets and hears gunfire. She runs to the palace, where she sees police blocking the entrance, they recognize Francisca and let her in. The Functionalist Coup has occured, Roberta has taken control of the legislature. She tells Francisca that she will make Carlos Premier of Paretia no matter what, and that Francisca will become the First Lady no matter what. Soon after Carlos is made Premier, the era of Functionalist Paretia begins.

Francisca, now wife of the Paretian Premier, sits in the Primavera Palace in Precea, reading the news of the exiling of numerous political opponents and the execution of socialists. She sees a picture of one of the men being executed, it is the man who hit her on the head a year back. Roberta meets with Brigadier General Pedro Castro Guerro, a commander of the Paretian Armed Forces. A year into Functionalist rule the military has grown immensely, global tensions have begun to reach a boiling point as nations like Senria, Gaullica, Shangea, and Estmere prepare for war. Palmeira declared Paretia's alliance with Functionalist Gaullica. Francisca continues to work as an engineer, she noticing the transportation of military equipment. She goes to the palace and asks Roberta what she thinks about possible war, Roberta tells her that Paretia may need a war to become a great power. She says her brother and father would be proud of her in these times.

Eventually the Great War breaks out, and Palmeira declares war the Allied Forces. Etruria eventually joins the war and invades western Paretia. They are stopped and enter a war of attrition with the Paretian forces. Frustrated with the fact Etruria has not yet been defeated, Carlos becomes angry with his wife, and hits her. A year later, in 1930, Roberta hosts a party in the royal palace. Francisca is invited, many of the members of the Women's Section of the New Nation of Paretia Party are also there. Here Roberta begins to ignore her and she yells at Francisca for not being around Palmeira enough, saying Palmeira is not the same anymore. Francisca makes an announcement that she is pregnant. Roberta finally comes to talk to her about her coming child, calling them the "Prince or Princess". She talks to General Pedeo Castro Guerro, commander of the PAF. He tells her that he believes the Paretian forces are running low on supplies and that the lines will not hold much longer, and he is worried that Palmeira will keep pushing to continue to attack Etruria.

The war continues, Francisca has her and Carlos' child, named Amílcar Pedro. Francisca begins to feel less and less intrigued with the war and tells Carlito that Paretia should've remained nuetral. Francisca sees General Pedeo Castro Guerro. Carlos hits her again, this causes Francisca to change her opinion on her husband and the functionalist government entirely. Francisca tells Roberta what happened, Roberta laughs and tells her that the war is already won, despite failures on the frontlines by the Entente powers. The war begins to shift as the Weranians and Kirenians push back the Gaullicans in the north. By 1933, Francisca sits alone in her room, Carlito tells Roberta that he believes she has given up on trying to convince him, and they laugh. By 1934 the Etrurians broke through the Paretian lines and have overun much of the southwestern regions of the country. An uprising begins to the cities of Paretia against the functionalist government.

As the Etrurians began their assault on Precea. Francisca went to Roberta, who was now in a bunker with the high command and Carlos. Guerro tells her they don't want to talk to her anymore, he whispers for her to leave, and run away because the Etrurians are approaching the bunker rapidly. Francisca turns around and leaves, she turns around and sees Guerro. He tells her he has been kicked out by Palmeira and Roberta. He tells her he is going to run away separately, he is a bigger target for the uprising and Etrurians. He tells her to get Amílcar Pedro and leave, there are people who will want her and him dead. Amílcar Pedro is in the bunker, she heads back and quietly and secretly gets him out. They run across Precea, trying to dodge the ongoing battle. Francisca heads south towards the Etrurian lines to defect. She reaches the Etrurian lines and hears a gunshot, she turns to see Paretian soldiers on the ground, shot and killed by Etrurian soldiers. She goes to the train station in southern Precea to grab a metal pipe as a weapon, but she is stopped by Paretian resistance soldiers, who recognize her and Amílcar Pedro. They take her to a house and say they are going to kill her. Etrurian troops enter the building and order them to stop, suspecting they were going to rape Francisca.

She appeals to the Etrurians to take her as a defector to the Allies, they ask her to tell her where Palmeira's bunker is in exchange for her defection. She accepts the proposal and tells them. They take her and Amílcar Pedro out of the city and tell her to run south away from the battle. She runs away to the train station in Jardinagem. She sits inside an abandoned traincar and looks outside, relieved that she has escaped the war. The final scene is set in 1945, in Gaullica, where Francisca and Amílcar Pedro ran to during the Solarian War. She begins to write her autobiography, the one the film is based upon.