|Imagine Me & You (2006)
Starring: Piper Perabo, Matthew Goode, Lena Headey, Darren Boyd, Anthony Head
Director: Ol Parker
While waiting for the screening of the new romantic comedy, “Imagine Me & You,” it suddenly came to my attention that I knew as much about the film as a virgin knows about sex; enough to get you excited, but nothing concrete. And then, about ten minutes into the film, it hit me: this isn’t just any romantic comedy; this is a lesbian romantic comedy. Of course, while the homosexual relationship plays a big role in the development of the story, it ain’t “Brokeback Mountain.” Still, it’s a nice addition to the ever-growing genre and is sure to be an LGBT classic in the years to come.
The London-based film opens with the wedding of Rachel (Piper Perabo) and Heck (Matthew Goode), two childhood friends-turned-lovers who always seem to bring out the best in one another. Then, as if by an act of Cupid himself, Rachel takes notice of a complete stranger during her walk down the aisle and finds that she is unusually captivated. The stranger is actually a woman, a wedding florist named Luce (Lena Headey), who’s then randomly invited by the couple to have dinner with them the following week. As the two women become closer, Rachel discovers an attraction to Luce that she didn’t think possible, and one that she’s afraid of exploring if only to prevent damaging the relationship with her affectionate husband.
The film, which finds Jersey girl Perabo rocking a darned good British accent, isn’t much unlike any other romantic comedy except for the fact that, instead of two guys vying for the top spot, it’s one man and one woman trying to win the heart of the girl. “Imagine Me & You” actually offers a nice change to those looking for something a little less formulaic, but that’s probably because it’s a BBC production more so than the fact that it’s about two women falling in love. The charming wit you’re almost always bound to find in British cinema is delivered in small, but hilarious doses, so as not to scare away American audiences, while Perabo’s appearance also helps the overseas cause.
The feisty youngster isn’t the only pretty thing to look at, though. Co-star Headey is a dead ringer for Keira Knightley, and honestly, who wouldn’t want two of those walking around in the world? Other pleasant additions to the cast include Darren Boyd as the sex-obsessed best friend and “Buffy the Vampire” vet Anthony Head as Rachel’s outlandish father, but Goode is given perhaps the best material to work with. His character is the most relatable of the bunch - even if you’ve never been dumped by your girlfriend for another, well, girlfriend – and while the audience should probably be more interested in the relationship between the two women, you can’t help feeling sorry for the poor guy. It might be that same feeling of pity that I have for Perabo’s career that made the film so enjoyable, but it’s probably just because “Imagine Me & You” actually succeeds as both a comedy and a romance. You don’t see that very often.
The single-disc DVD release of Ol Parker’s debut film is mediocre at best. True, it delivers all of the customary special features, but none of them feel special in any way. The director commentary is like listening to a film student point out all of his mistakes, the included deleted scenes leave more to be desired, and the Q&A with the cast/crew is just like attending a press junket. One could probably find some enjoyment in the brief personal statement recorded by the director (where he gives his reasons for making the film), but it’s short, sweet and hardly worth mentioning.