Imagine Me & You Movie Review

A massive cinematic industry has been cultivated on the idea that people aren't exactly in control of whom they fall in love with. But movie charades of predetermination often squelch the lure of this subject matter. Such is the fate of Imagine Me & You, a sit-comish Brit romance that waffles between Four Weddings and a Funeral's fuzzy cuteness and Notting Hill's middling novelty. The clever thing here is the homosexual relationship... you'd think. But, nowadays, even the gay angle has become a titillating surrogate for originality.

The mediocrity begins with florist Luce (Lena Headey) meeting Rachel (Piper Perabo) at her wedding to lifelong friend-become-lover Heck (Mathew Goode channeling Hugh Grant). They become smitten girlfriends since Rachel remains sexually confused. And, though Luce tells Heck she's gay -- and he tells womanizer buddy "Coop" (Darren Boyd) -- Heck remains blind to her and his wife's mutual attraction.

Luce stimulates Rachel's sexuality; still she retreats to her safe, passionless hetero-commitment. Rachel wants to believe that romantic love is delusion, but eventually she surrenders to passion with Luce, only to guiltily break it off. But Heck is as understanding as (finally) perceptive, and he graciously steps out of Rachel's way. A little help from Rachel's unassuming parents (Anthony Head, Celia Imrie), and the romantic chase is on, setting the stage for the gals' version of happily ever after.

Imagine has myriad faults. Everything works out too smoothly for everyone. Everyone tows the spineless line of presenting homosexuality as social norm while diffusing its uniqueness. Furthermore, the characters' suffering is as artificial as their personalities. Rachel is too wishy-washy, Heck too laissez-faire. To boot, there's no backstory to our lovers' lives, making them less identifiable. Newbie director/writer Ol Parker needs no reasons for the lesbianism beyond the sheepishly prurient -- e.g., "C'mon -- they're two hot chicks!"

And yet, when Luce and Rachel finally get together, their passion has an underwhelming, prepubescent feel. This conspicuous lack of daring in such a provocative premise suggests an agenda, like the need to hand-hold homophobic middle America (and middle UK). Why? To bring homosexual romantic comedy into the mainstream? Who said that's the paragon of having "made it?" More significant would be that cinematic romance-equality for all sexual persuasions helps us, as a race, accept that surrendering to infatuation doesn't solve everything any more than spitefully refusing to do so. Maybe then more romantic comedies will give their due to loss, sacrifice, and fear, even if "happily ever afters" reign eternal.

It's ironic that the film's own lovers see the riskiest thing of all as taking no risk, while the exotic premise of them is painted plain vanilla. In trying to please everybody, Imagine fails its own test, opting for a childish send-up to the wouldn't-it-be-nice lyrics of "Happy Together." Romance is fine and dandy, but when it's treated as the cake, instead of the icing on it, you hardly end up with an authentic, interesting story. You end up with, well... "Happy Together."

Films like this take solace in simplistic analogies -- "unstoppable forces" and "immovable objects." Love in this universe is equated with romance is equated with infatuation. By implication, anything not on fire -- i.e., Rachel + Heck -- is presumed insignificant and must bow out. The law: Romantic and platonic love are unrelated. Obey or stand in the way of "nature." To Imagine's simple mind, there is no restraining what feels "unstoppable." Because it's unromantic? Since when?

The film has some cute jokes and sexy looks. A sensual-sweet moment between Luce and Rachel at a soccer game and a kissie-fumbly scene "in the closet" (honest!). Nevertheless, there's more heat to be found in your average animated Disney romance. (For a much less timid attempt at this material, see Kissing Jessica Stein.)

A shame Headey and Perabo don't have a script more interested in pushing the envelope than pushing P.C. attitudes about homoeroticism. After all, passion is clearly simmering in their eyes. Unfortunately, we're left only to "imagine" how captivating they could be if allowed to act outside the lines.

Still imagining.

Cast & Crew

Director : Ol Parker

Producer : Sophie Balhetchet, , Andro Steinborn

Starring : , , , , , Darren Boyd, , Boo Jackson, , Sharon Horgan


Comments

Imagine Me & You Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: R, 2005

Editors Recommendations

Can 'Game of Thrones' Get Any Bigger? Alex Graves Says it Already Has

‘Game of Thrones’ is a cultural phenomenon, whatever you think of the qualities it does...

Can 'Game of Thrones' Get Any Bigger? Alex Graves Says it Already Has

Jay-Z and Beyonce Plot Joint Stadium Tour for Summer 2014

Jay-Z and Beyonce, on the same bill? Yep, it looks as though the world's richest and most...

Jay-Z and Beyonce Plot Joint Stadium Tour for Summer 2014

Is 'The Revenant' Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar Winning Movie?

Leonardo DiCaprio will continue his hunt for a best actor Oscar with Gonzalez Inarritu's...

Is 'The Revenant' Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar Winning Movie?

Ben Affleck Is Creepy And Questionable In First Trailer For David Fincher's "Gone Girl"

The first trailer for David Fincher’s Gone Girl is out. The last bit of news about the Gillian Flynn...

Ben Affleck Is Creepy And Questionable In First Trailer For David Fincher's

Lindsay Lohan's Show Slammed By Rosie O'Donnell - Is She Right?

Lindsay Lohan has been hit with the shame and bad publicity of a fellow entertainer...

Lindsay Lohan's Show Slammed By Rosie O'Donnell - Is She Right?

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

New television series Fargo premiered last night on FX, giving American audiences...

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

New television series Fargo premiered last night on FX, giving American audiences...

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

A member of the Lohan family has ran into trouble with the law, yet again...

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers

“I did not kill my wife!” exclaims Ben Affleck in the first official trailer for David Fincher’s...

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers


More recommendations