“I dare you to love me.”
When Rachel (Piper Perabo) first lays eyes on Luce (Lena Headey) it’s her wedding day and something passes between them; a connection. The connection. That “love at first sight” moment. Director Ol Parker‘s 2005 British-American dramedy, Imagine Me & You is about what happens when true love comes knocking and no one is exactly ready to answer the call.
There are many entanglements in Imagine Me & You, which is both a turn-off and a necessary evil. As an openly gay woman, of course I’m drawn to the love story between Headey (who has been a favorite since her Ballykissangel days) and Perabo. But, as a regular Jane, I hate many of the too-real dramatic elements of Imagine Me & You, many of which act as a barrier between the audience and the guilty pleasure of watching two people fall in love.
As with many films in the genre, it appears there is a certain ethical price to be paid in exchange for the emotional pay-off when the two leads finally get together.
Okay, fine. I get it. And (clearly) after the dozen or so times I’ve watched Imagine Me & You, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. But why did you have to cast the ever-adorable Matthew Goode as Rachel’s over-the-moon-newly-minted-husband, Heck? Watching him get his heart broken is like watching your little brother get bullied. You end up feeling simultaneously angered and amused. Not a great combination.
The film’s situation is made more unfortunate thanks to not enough on-screen romance between the women to balance out all our nasty little guilty feelings. Imagine Me & You gives us just enough between Luce & Rachel to show us the actresses have a great, easy chemistry. I’m not ashamed to admit I wanted more. I mean, there’s so much angst and crying and running you’d think that (even in 2005 when the film released) being gay was the end of the world.
Imagine Me & You is a hot mess from beginning to end; and considering we kick off at a wedding, with the bride falling in love with her florist, the film ends up being a bit of a roller coaster as well. I want to like the film; not because it’s about two women who fall in love (although, like I said, that element doesn’t hurt), but because Imagine Me & You wants to tell a greater story about the wholly transformative power of true love.
Does the film succeed?
Mostly yes. I mean, you have to kind of buy into the theory/reality of love at first sight, and of love as a force that will not be deterred, ignored or stopped.
Imagine Me & You is a more or less satisfying viewing experience owing to the scenes woven into the credits. These brief snippets show each of the main characters living happily in the wake of Rachel and Heck’s big break up. The redemptive core of Imagine Me & You then becomes the underlying truth that relationships are seldom perfect and almost always messy.
It helps that director Ol Parker provides some closure to indicate that, in fact, relationships ending, new commitments, and falling in love are not the end of the world, but its beginning.
( click image to enlarge )
Lena Headey Interview:
Piper Perabo & Lena Headey Interview:
Fan Video (queengorgo):
Official Site: Imagine Me & You
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