Imagine Me and You
Early in Imagine Me and You, newly married lovebirds Rachel (Piper Perabo) and Heck (Matthew Goode) sit down for dinner with Heck’s best friend, Coop (Darren Boyd), and their wedding florist, Luce (Lena Headey), on whom Rachel has developed some sort of girl-crush. The three friends and outsider—who Heck has just learned is as gay “as a tennis player”—debate about love at first sight. Heck doesn’t believe in it—probably because it runs contrary to the slow-but-sure relationship he has enjoyed with Rachel—but Rachel argues on its behalf, siding with Luce, a lonely, impossibly hot lesbian only hit on by horny men like Coop.
Director Ol Parker wants this scene to be the reason why you root for the impending romance between soul mates: the straight-as-an-arrow Rachel and Luce, who, despite how she detests adulterers like Coop, wants to partake in a bit of adultery herself. Unfortunately, Heck is too good of a guy to root against—and you can’t cheat on an ideal mate and expect anyone to take your side no matter how pithy the on-screen looks you share with said soul mate.
It’s been three months since Rachel walked down the aisle with the dreamy sweetheart, and she’s already cold between the sheets, staring off into nothing while lost in thoughts about Luce, and renting lesbian porn for how-to lessons just in case. The twist to the boy-loses-girl cliché here is that Luce isn’t another man—which is supposed to sex up the simple premise, but throwing a lesbian in to make a formulaic story line feel fresh is degrading to, well, lesbians for one. It’s not like it can’t be done right, either: Kissing Jessica Stein and Go Fish are proof of that. Even the enthusiastic attempt on Parker’s part to wring some Love Actually/Notting Hill British charm or wit from his script falls flat after the first 30 minutes.
Fortunately, Imagine Me and You’s male actors deliver the goods: Goode (who shined as the brother-in-law in Match Point), Boyd (not quite a Rhys Ifans in Notting Hill revelation, but close), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumnus Anthony Head as Rachel’s emotionally broken father feel more worthy as movie subjects than their women counterparts. Maybe they can reunite for a sequel: What About Them?