Urban Cinefile
"Amazing how a parrot can make you feel inadequate. "  -Andrew L. Urban on set The Real Macaw
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

ME MYSELF I

SYNOPSIS:
Pamela Drury (Rachel Griffiths) is an attractive, intelligent thirty-something award winning Sydney journalist. Yet Pamela has missed the love boat, and is resigned to the odd porno flick and blind date. She could have had it all thirteen years ago, when she turned down the perfect guy, Robert Dickson (David Roberts). On the edge of despair, Pamela literally collides with her other self - the Pamela who married Robert thirteen years ago - and comes complete with three kids, dog, goldfish and a white picket fence. When the married Pamela disappears, the career Pamela is left with the family she almost had, and the man she always wanted. As she struggles to cope with a family oblivious to the switch, she's challenged by poignant, humorous and ultimately enlightening experiences.

"Fresh, original and warmly funny, Me Myself and I takes the romantic notion of 'if only' and not only stomps all over it with irreverence, but explores the complexity of self. The room's a mess, a photo of a past lover burns defiantly in the ashtray; the futile search for Mr Right has never appeared so desperate. Pip Karmel's debut feature is sharp with nuance and cuts with life's irony and acid tongue. The script defines character well, and we genuinely care for Pamela, and can't wait to see what happens next. She has made career her priority, but at what cost? Would she have been happier if…? As her subconscious forces her to take a peek behind the mirror to check out how green is the grass, she discovers that green comes in many shades. From journalist accolades to wiping dirty bottoms, together with Pamela we are thrown in headfirst: and it's a shock. We in the know smile secretly and knowingly as her preconceptions are shattered. Is the word 'marriage' interchangeable with 'complacency', 'infidelity' and 'being everyone except yourself'? This is without doubt Rachel Griffiths' film: she is stunning as Pamela, capturing the strength, vulnerability, hopes and aspirations perfectly. We share her disappointments, her horror, her anticipation. Those who have been 'married with children' will perhaps get the most out of Me Myself I: there are many 'in-jokes' for that universal club to which married people belong. A well deserved special mention for the Yael Stone, Shaun Loseby and Trent Sullivan, whose performances as the three children are outstanding and very real. As for the title, it comes from Joan Armatrading's song, and Charlie Chan's soundtrack is delightful. With a few poignant moments and some ambrosial surprises, Me Myself I is an uplifting and entertaining charmer, quintessentially Australian but universal in its theme."
Louise Keller

"I heard someone say "Me Myself I is what Sliding Doors should have been." That seems pretty apt, for the all-Australian cast and crew of this light romantic comedy hit the "switching lives" note right on key. It's a simple film that radiates stirring messages about the choices we make in life, and how we live - for better or worse - with the consequences of those choices. While choice remains the central theme, the past, regret, destiny,
identity, family, career, independence and idealism are also explored as Pamela lives as her other self and deals with the life she almost had. In a demanding role that has her in almost every scene, Rachel Griffiths is perfectly cast as the externally strong, internally fragile Pamela. Both Pamelas want it all; love, family, and career, but as Me Myself I shows, that's a particularly difficult accomplishment for women. While mixing career and family appears ideal, both have pitfalls. Career means a certain lack of security and attachment, a wanting to love and be loved. Writer/director Pip Karmel and production designer Murray Picknett evince this through creating cold, stony surrounds for Pamela. Like her life, her inner-city apartment is disorganised and messy. She works in a downbeat office and wears trendy jeans and leather jackets. Karmel and Picknett give the married Pamela's life the look of a breakfast cereal commercial. It's light, bright and homely, but the pitfalls include the loss of romance with her husband, the demands of three energetic children, and the routine that stifles her writing hopes. She even faces adultery with Ben (Sandy Winton), a man that represents everything Pamela desires in life. But Me Myself I never allows itself to drown under such weighty issues, and unlike its American twin comes up a treat. It may not rock your world, but it will make you think twice (even thrice) about your next big decision."
Shannon J. Harvey

"The limitlessness of cinema to let the filmmaker's imagination roam unfettered by physical realities is often tested with sci-fi, with animation and with so called magic reality. This latter genre offers the most exciting possibilities, because it is so close to the nature of human imagination - and to the sort of relationship between creator and consumer that books offer. Me Myself I tackles this ground and does so after it's already been tackled by others, triggered by exactly the same hypothesis. What if I chose differently? It is a primal question for us all - and the older we get the more intriguing the notion can become. Pip Karmel's balanced approach to the subject, digging for humour but never forgetting the dramatic reality, delivers a sustained idea and a fascinating scenario. In many ways I found myself 'reading' the film as if it were a book, juggling myself in and out of a similar situation. What if it were me facing myself? This made the film more complex for me, but I suspect it also smoothed out some of the emotional highs and lows I should have felt. In short, it's a great insight and a fine piece of filmmaking with no pretentions yet with great ambitions: it does end up exploring our nature, and glimpses into the dark abyss of fate - or is that my alter ego talking? Anyway, all boys (as in young men) should make a point of seeing this film: it is a great insight into how women think and feel, and may help explain why they may appear so mysterious and hard to fathom at times. What Pamela goes through here is perhaps what most women go through - complete with the confusion it causes."
Andrew L. Urban

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

See Andrew L. Urban's interview with
RACHEL GRIFFITHS

See Brad Green's
SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

ME MYSELF I (M)
(Australia)

CAST: Rachel Griffiths, David Roberts, Sandy Winton, Yael Stone, Shaun Loseby, Trent Sullivan

DIRECTOR: Phillipa (Pip) Karmel

PRODUCER: Fabien Liron, Andrena Finlay

SCRIPT: Phillipa (Pip) Karmel

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Graeme Lind

EDITOR: Denise Haratzis

MUSIC: Charlie Chan

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Murray Picknett

RUNNING TIME: 104 min

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2000

VIDEO RELEASE: Sept 27, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017