Monday, February 27, 2006

Imagine Me & You

IMAGINE ME & YOU (Ol Parker, 2005)

IMAGINE ME & YOU begins with the wedding of Rachel (Piper Perabo) and Heck (Matthew Goode), but the bride finds much to her astonishment that she has her eyes on the florist Luce (Lena Headey). A glimpse of Luce and brief interaction at the reception stirs something inside Rachel that she's never felt. She seeks Luce for her social circle, and slowly she realizes that Heck may not be the person with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life.

Maybe it’s a sign of progress that a mediocre gay romantic comedy can enter the mainstream marketplace and not create any stir. IMAGINE ME & YOU is as ordinary and forgettable as any number of male-female love stories. That said, the gay content is timid and almost secondary to the story. Rachel’s interest in Luce is not developed convincingly. There aren’t any sparks or elucidation of what causes Rachel to discover her supposed chemical attraction to a woman. Rachel and Luce appear destined to be friends more than lovers. It’s to the detriment of IMAGINE ME & YOU that it compares unfavorably with LOST AND DELIRIOUS, a drama that featured Perabo as a girl unashamed of her affection for a female classmate in spite of the disapproval of other students and the administration.

It also comes up short next to KISSING JESSICA STEIN, a lesbian-curious rom-com which explored the main character’s sexual identity more deeply than this superficial film. IMAGINE ME & YOU presupposes a ridiculous version of love at first sight. All it takes here is Rachel spotting Luce out of the corner of her eye as she marches down the aisle. To writer-director Ol Parker’s credit, Rachel and Luce are given more time via social interactions to know one another before forcing the audience to swallow this fantasy of predestined passion. Still, Rachel’s decision-making comes across as wishy-washy. She’s driven by the screenplay’s mechanics rather than Sapphic desire or interest in experimentation.

Grade: C-

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