Imagine Me And You

8 out of 10


Lesbianism Has Become Chic

With the first few scenes in 'Imagine Me and You', I knew I wasn't going to dislike this movie. The dialogue was clever and original and made me laugh, which is what a romantic comedy is supposed to do. For example, when the father of the bride, (played by Anthony Head) is bucking up his daughter's spirits on the way to the church he tells her that if he had acted on his feelings shortly after he married her mother 30 years ago, he'd be out by now.

Piper Perabo plays Rachel the bride who is marrying her longtime sweetheart but who makes eye contact with a stranger across the aisle at her wedding. It is mutual love at first sight, but sensible Rachel fights the idea for most of the movie, giving the motivation for the plot and a number of well-written scenes such as a strained dinner party and a girl's night out.

The twist in the plot is that the stranger who also fell in love is Luce, another woman. Luce's role is filled by Lena Headey of the Brothers Grimm and between her and Piper they give despair to any woman who has more curves than a stick. Rachel has never before thought of a woman that way, so her fumbling attempts to deal with the situation provide the opportunity to generate some laughs. Luce, of course, is 'as gay as a tennis player'.

The supporting cast is great with 3-dimensional characters who add depth to the basic story without distracting from it. Rachels' mother, played by longtime British television actress Sharon Hogan, is particularily amusing as the awful yet human Beth. The young and promising director is Ol Parker and the main studios were Ealing and the BBC. The writer of the entertaining dialogue is Sophie Balhetchet.

Having said all this, I realized near the end of the credits that this movie only works because of modern reverse-discrimination. The too-good-to-be-true husband Heck (played by Matthew Goode) is about the only nice male of younger or middle age in the whole film while the female cast is on average much more sympathetic. To let true love win out, Heck releases Rachel from their marriage; if Luce had been a man, Heck would have come across as the greatest wimp on the face of the planet. Two men would no doubt have instead had a big punch-up and then perhaps talked things out afterwards while sitting there bleeding profusely from various cuts and scrapes.

Somehow lesbianism has become chic enough to the modern hip audience that the idea that the new bride would quickly throw over her near-perfect husband for another woman is not only acceptable but even appealing. The families in the film are quicker to accept the situation than is credible and there are other patch jobs in the film in order to keep the original mood going. What with the success of Brokeback Mountain recently, I'm starting to wonder if there is still a place out there for a good romantic film involving a heterosexual relationship. Maybe the directors and producers of films with untraditional romances make sure the script doesn't stink before they set out to make their films.

'Imagine Me and You' is rated Restricted for language and sexual situations, but the foul language is brief and non-gratuitious. Since there is no skin and the only love scene is quickly interrupted before anything can occur, I am not quite sure what the Restricted rating was for, unless the censors were less hip than the target audience or the distributors hoped the rating would actually attract the right target audience.

The final main scene is a bit over the top and definitely too corny. I was going to point out the various dumb bits but I won't: a romantic comedy is supposed to have a silly and corny ending. Even an untraditional relationship movie needs to follow the formula, and here the formula works pretty well.

The formula works pretty well

Film Critic: Douglas A Gunter