Saturday, June 17, 2017

Imagine Me & You

It's actually nice to know that every once and awhile, even the LGBT community can get a frothy, British rom-com full of beautiful London scenery and posh accents. Imagine Me & You fits nicely in that particular genre. While it doesn't reach the levels of a Richard Curtis film, it does have it's own charms as well.  

Rachel (played by Piper Perabo) is newly married to her loving husband Heck (played by Matthew Goode). Things are going along well it seems and the couple strikes up a bit of a friendship with florist Luce (played by Lena Headey), who they met when she provided the floral arrangements for their wedding. They try to pair her off with Heck's womanizing friend Cooper (played by Darren Boyd), but that takes a turn when Luce lets them know she is a lesbian. Still, Rachel and Luce remain friends and go on outings together. Things become complicated when Rachel starts developing feelings for Luce that are reciprocated by Luce. This leaves Luce with an agonizing decision: does she stay with Heck or give into her feelings for Luce, with whom she may share a deeper and more fulfilling connection with. 

The film was written and directed by Ol Parker, who attempts a difficult narrative balancing act with this film that mostly works. The film opens with the wedding of Rachel and Heck, who appear to be by all indications a happy couple. Then he has Rachel falling in love with someone else, in this case another woman, and the film wants me to root for Rachel and Luce but there was still a part of me feeling very sympathetic to Heck. Now, Ol Parker does try to suggest that Rachel and Heck are not the perfect match that it would seem. But he's still a totally decent guy, as the film makes clear. Ultimately, the film does resolve these plot points, but more than anything this was the plot point that I struggled with the most in this movie. But, on the other hand it does add more emotional weight to the film as you feel how serious Rachel's dilemma is as opposed to if Heck was a bit of a jerk, so it does add some more depth to the movie than is common for the genre.

The performances in the movie are decent. Piper Perabo and Matthew Goode both turn in endearing and appealing performances. Perabo does a great job playing Rachel's dilemma and you really feel for the character. Likewise, Matthew Goode is quite charming as Heck, which made me feel for his character as well as the story went on.  I really liked Lena Headey as Luce though and thought she did great in her role. She has great chemistry with Perabo and the two were really great together, with the scene where they play Dance Dance Revolution together in an arcade being a standout as possibly the cutest scene of the film. As a long-time Buffy fan, I did appreciate Anthony Stewart Head turning up as Rachel's quirky father as well and he gave an amusing performance.

Overall, Imagine Me & You is a cute and funny romantic comedy, with some surprising depth to it as well that makes it a bit more memorable. Critics didn't think much of it when it came out in 2005 but I feel it has aged better than most. It's nothing earth shatteringly new, but within the rom-com genre, I've seen much worse too.      

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