I'M WITH LUCY: DVD
When Lucy (Monica Potter) is dumped by her boyfriend, she is devastated but starts the dating merry-go-round with a string of blind dates in a bid to find Mr Right. In the space of a year, she meets newly divorced Doug (John Hannah), sexy playwright Gabriel (Gael Garcia Bernal), former baseball hero Bobby (Anthony LaPaglia), shop-worker Barry (Henry Thomas) and the medico with the suntan and fast serve, Luke (David Boreanaz). All the dates start with a bump, but Lucy’s parents (Harold Ramis and Julie Christie) are keen to show approval – but, of course, only one of the five contenders will end up walking down the aisle with Lucy.
Review by Louise Keller:
A treasure hunt in search of true love, I’m With Lucy offers a few wry laughs and sweetly conceived moments, but submerges into soppy and stupid instead of a satisfying jaunt. It’s a romantic comedy with a few differences, notably the way we learn about Lucy, which is through her romantic encounters. Plus, it relies on our being connected enough with the characters to want to play the guessing game as to who will be the lucky one to boast the words of the film’s title. It’s not surprising that the film never received a theatrical release, even though it was originally targeted for a Valentine’s Day release.
When we first meet Lucy, she is smitten by Mr Perfect, a tall and presentable sort of fellow, but Mr Perfect turns out to be Mr RatFink, which is clearly shown in a rather amusing, if not self-conscious scene set in a department store lift, when Lucy’s humility is shared by eight strangers who are also literally going down. Good sharp editing holds our interest as the calendar pages are turned and Lucy begins her lucky dip of blind dates. January brings Doug; if it’s May, it must be Gabriel; in July comes Bobby; and September it’s Barry while in December who else but Luke for her Christmas stocking?
Sounds very neat and convenient, doesn’t it? The fact that everything is totally contrived would not matter so much had the script been innovative and engaging, grounded in reality or otherwise. Especially if we care about the characters – or Lucy, at least.
Unfortunately, Lucy (nor her beaux) is not real and by the end of the film, I had lost interest. Monica Potter looks lovely, but doesn’t convince; we may empathise with her plight, but everything is so superficial and unbelievable, it is hard to care.
The first time she meets John Hannah’s entomologist Doug, for example, she is so nervous to be going on a blind date that she locks herself in the bathroom with a bottle of Chardonnay, making her first appearance when her well-meaning sister throws her on the floor and into the bewildered gaze of the newly divorced introvert.
It could have been funny, but it isn’t. The relationship with Gael Garcia Bernal’s playwright Gabriel (who believes he is a reincarnation of Julius Caesar) takes place predominantly between the sheets; Anthony LaPaglia offers a few chuckles with his chauvinistic baseball enthusiast taken out of his comfort zone to a Vivaldi soiree; David Boreanaz’ Luke throws a curly when red wine is flung on his Armani jumper and Henry Thomas’ Barry is given the low-down on childhood gaffs by Lucy’s insufferable parents (played by an unrecognisable Julie Christie and Harold Ramis). Then there’s a projector set up on the pavement to show home movies, a mushy karaoke scene and the scene which the filmmakers probably intended to be ultra romantic - playing with boats in Central Park - is just plain embarrassing. I’m With Lucy may amuse the undemanding, but the result seriously underwhelms expectations.
Published May 20, 2004