A Charmingly Missed Opportunity

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.

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