Besides the fact that the star-crossed lovers in Imagine Me &You are two uncommonly pretty women (instead of one uncommonly pretty woman and one uncommonly charming man), this British film is just like every other romantic comedy: well-meaning characters blindsided by love, a “destined” romance escalating at a breakneck pace, and dramatic music at all the appropriate moments. And as such, it’s pretty good.
But that’s the problem with it. The story is interesting. The actors are exemplary. The characters are likable and ethical. The subject matter is provocative and fresh. Taken just a few steps further, this film would be thoughtful, intelligent, and witty. It would never be Brokeback Mountain, but it could certainly hold its own weight in Brokeback’s genre of serious films treating gay love like what it is: love, with complications. Instead, Imagine Me & You ends up charming, but too lightweight for its capabilities.
It features Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) as likable, large-lipped Rachel and Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Heck, her new husband. They are happy and stable, with a relationship that seemed like a marriage from day one. But when Rachel meets Luce (Lena Headey, The Brothers Grimm) at her wedding and feels a different kind of spark, she begins to wonder whether she should have held out for the sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of love. You can probably guess what happens next.
This is not a film about a straight woman getting in touch with her lesbian tendencies, nor about a predatory lesbian convincing a woman to switch teams. In fact, it hardly deals with the issue of homosexuality at all except as a humorous plot device—a fact that was interesting and refreshing but a little unrealistic, even for Europe.
As such, audience reactions to the film surely will be mixed. Some viewers will love to see woman-on-woman romance portrayed on the big screen. Others will complain—and rightly so—that the film only portrays the type of gay love that the mainstream can palate (hot chicks who make out).
In the end, though, it’s a date movie, plain and simple. It’s just too bad it wasn’t more.