Directed by: Ol Parker
Written by:Ol Parker
Starring: Piper Perabo, Lena Headey, Matthew Goode, Darren Boyd
Released: February 23, 2006
Grade: B+

Romantic comedies are one of my least favourite genres.  Most are extremely predictable and the lack of originality is frustrating.  Within about 15 minutes, you’ll have a fair idea how it will end and which girl will end up with which guy.  All that’s left to fill in the rest of the movie are some standard jokes and a few minor subplots involving the supporting characters.

To prove that I don’t discriminate against all romantic comedies, I’m throwing my support behind the latest UK effort, Imagine Me & You.  It’s the story of a young couple, Heck (Goode) and Rachel (Perabo), who have decided to get married.  They look great together and the playful dialogue between them gives you a clear sense of how much they love each other.  They’re fun to listen to.

At the wedding reception, Rachel introduces herself to the young lady who helped with the flower arrangements.  Her name is Luce (Headey) and there’s something about her which has drawn Rachel in.  She has that feeling that this will be the start of a beautiful friendship (pardon the pun).

Rachel invites Luce over for dinner with the hope of setting her up with Heck’s best friend, Coop (Boyd).  Rachel’s good intentions turn comedic when Luce reveals that she is gay.  Coop still thinks he can use his womanising charms to get her to “switch teams” but he’s no chance.  The revelation now has Rachel thinking about her very existence.  Is she attracted to Luce?  Is this why they have developed such a quick, close friendship?

To go back to my earlier point, it wasn’t until the final minutes of the Imagine Me & You where I realised who Rachel would end up with.  Heck and Luce are both likable characters and you will feel for the one who has their heart broken.  This isn’t like a traditional romantic comedy where’s there a good guy and a bad guy (making the choice very obvious).  Instead, it’s a choice between the good guy and the good girl.

American actress Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) puts on a superb English accent in the leading role.  I don’t know why but I love upper-class English accents in movies.  They give the film a certain charm (ala Four Weddings & A Funeral).  Perabo shouldn’t be singled out because all the performances are great and each actor gets their chance to be funny and to be emotional.

There are some who will question the story’s overall premise.  How could a recently married woman suddenly think that she’s a lesbian?  All I can say to that is that love can manifest itself in strange ways and that you should see the film with an open mind.  The fact that the film has a lighter-tone will make it much more agreeable to audiences than Brokeback Mountain (which also should be seen).

Imagine Me & You isn’t the greatest romantic comedy of all time and a few clichés do worm their way into the story at the worst of times.  Still, it offered a lot more than I expected from it and that’s huge endorsement.