IMAGINE ME AND YOU
Middle class English couple Heck (Matthew Goode) and Rachel (Piper Perabo) are about to embark on life together as husband and wife when a meeting with the florist for their wedding, Luce (Lena Heady), turns Rachel's emotional world upside down. She is strangely attracted to Luce and doesn't know what to do. Their respective, dysfunctional families are not much help, and when Heck finds that Rachel seems unresponsive at the start of their marriage, he begins to blame himself.
Review by Louise Keller:
A gay romantic comedy, Imagine Me and You is a bit like a poor man's Four Weddings and a Funeral. There's a wedding, a revival of wilting love and the unstoppable force of passionate new love between two women. Although there are a few laughs and the slick script is peppered with juicy one-liners, it's mild and rather mannered as we fail to connect with the characters when it really matters.
The wedding is the starting point for an emotional roller coaster for Piper Perabo's Rachel, the girl-next-door who marries her best friend, Heck (Matthew Goode). Ten years ago, Heck would probably have been played by Hugh Grant, and the film would have been better for it. Goode's Heck is a bit of a wimp, and his delivery of Grant-like mannerisms work against him, defeating the potential of emotional pathos, when Rachel falls for Luce (Lena Headey), the local florist who 'does the flowers' for Rachel's wedding. As Rachel walks down the aisle, the instant when her eyes lock with Luce's seems like forever, and there is no doubt where the story is heading.
'They teach the birds and the bees about me,' says Heck's best man Coop (Darren Boyd), when the newly weds invite Luce to dinner to make a foursome. Needless to say, the plans to match-make go awry when they learn Luce is a lesbian. Not that Coop is deterred - it's as though, the newly discovered sexuality is an additional challenge. Surprisingly, the biggest payoff comes from the antagonistic relationship between Rachel's sparring parents (Rick Warden and Celia Imrie). The inevitable coming together of Rachel and Luce feels much like a carefully plotted event, with little chemistry between the two. Headey is convincing, however, as the florist who knows all the best floral remedies for every situation.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Boy meets girl, boy weds girl, girl meets other girl ... hardly a novel twist on modern relationships these days, but as a twist on the genre of the love triangle romantic comedy, it is still fairly rare. Insufferably English (as distinct from insufferably American), the manipulative script is simplistic enough to offer lightweight entertainment but its attempts at getting 'deep' are speed humps on the way to a resolution that borrows so heavily from others that it groans.
It's not really as awful as I'm trying to make it sound, but there is too often a sense of observing this film instead of being swept up by it. And it's not the actors' fault: they're all pretty good, and some of the supporting characters are more entertaining than the central figures, but a plodding mood takes over and doesn't let go.
The resolution is meant to be an upset in the war of the sexes, an echo of times when real men ate humble pie and made noble gestures backed up by action. Yet somehow the chemistry is missing for a rousing finale.
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IMAGINE ME AND YOU (M)
CAST: Piper Perabo, Matthew Goode, Lena Headey, Anthony Head, Celia Imrie, Sue Johnson
PRODUCER: Sophie Balhetchet, Andro Steinborn, Barnaby Thompson
DIRECTOR: Oliver Parker
SCRIPT: Oliver Parker
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Davis
EDITOR: Alex Mackie
MUSIC: Alex Heffes
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Eva Mavrakis
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 23, 2006