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An unconventional but undeniably wonderful romantic comedy
on 19 November 2006
It goes without saying - or maybe it doesn't - that this is not your typical romantic comedy. Most people fall in love and then get married, but Imagine Me & You starts with a wedding and ends with true love. And most married men worry about their wives leaving them for another man - not another woman. Truly, though, this film should not be pigeon-holed as one of "those" films, for it's a really sweet story that says more about true love than most of today's raunchy romances. Love and sex are not the same thing, and it's always nice to find a film that reflects that. Don't go into this film expecting to see two lovely ladies rolling around naked in the hay, as there's no nudity whatsoever. This is a sweet film, not a prurient one.
I love Piper Perabo, especially now that's she proven she's just as talented as she is gorgeous. She's an unusual choice for the leading role in this film, an American actress surrounded by an impressive British cast, but her accent feels natural and makes for a most comfortable fit. Her character, Rachel, seems the picture of happiness as she marries Heck (Matthew Goode), a true good guy who has long been her best friend. Walking down the aisle, however, she happens to exchange a life-changing glance with Luce (Lena Headey), the florist who supplied the flowers for the wedding. She soon strikes up a friendship with Luce, initially trying to set her up with one of Heck's friends. Even before she learns that Luce is gay, though, she finds herself thinking about her more and more. Never having believed in love at first sight, she doesn't know how to react to these strange but powerful new feelings she is experiencing for the first time. Naturally, a distance seems to develop between her and Heck, eventually forcing her to choose between happiness and stability with Heck or true love with Luce. Luce, for her part, is also torn; as much as she loves Rachel, she certainly has no desire to break up a marriage.
As the movie progressed, I really wasn't sure how this story would end, knowing that one side of this lovers' triangle was destined for unhappiness. The filmmakers delivered a better and more meaningful conclusion than I ever expected, however - even though it does go a little too far in trying to make everyone happy.
The entire cast is excellent, contributing a couple of meaningful subplots, but special mention must be made of two individuals. Boo Jackson is utterly charming as Rachel's young sister H (there's a great explanation for her name), while Anthony Head (Giles of Buffy fame) turns in a memorable performance as Rachel's long-suffering father, whose tendency to mumble and dodder around seems directly related to his less than perfect marriage to Rachel's demanding mother. Both Jackson and Head really step up to make the film's sentimental conclusion particularly effective.
Imagine You & Me is a disarmingly sweet and entertaining romantic comedy. The nature of the romance between Rachel and Luce does much to explain the film's R rating, but this same-sex romance is in no way "mature" in terms of its content. When you come right down to it, the fact that Rachel and Luce are both women is almost incidental. This is, purely and simply, a wonderful love story.