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Imagine Me and You

Monday night, I scored a screening pass to Imagine Me and You at the Paramount (a place I rarely visit, given my meager means). My sister and I attacked a massive bag of dry, lukewarm popcorn (advertising Mission Impossible 3 if you can believe it), a gallon of root beer, and a bushel of Twizzlers) during a weak introduction and prize draw from a couple radio djs before the show.

The film's premise is, like all romance, Love is the undeniable be all and end all. And, like all comedies, despite some inconvenience, Love ends well.

In this incarnation hot, young Rachel (played by Piper Perabo with a convincing British accent) spots hot, young Luce (Lena Headey) - her wedding florist - while walking down the aisle to wed her best friend Heck (Matthew Goode). They become 'friends' and, of course, antics ensue as Rach realizes she likes Luce more than a friend - and poor ideal cute husband Heck is left wondering if he's done something wrong.

The story's backup players include Rach's antagonistic parents - Ella (Sue Johnston), the proper mum with ever a nasty yet witty shoot-down for her seemingly obtuse and bumbling husband Ned (Anthony Head, aka Giles from Buffy, who is adorable) - who clearly set a brilliant example for a functional relationship.

Heck's best friend is the quintessential charming man-ho Cooper (Darren Boyd) whose pursuit of Lesbian Luce provides some chuckles early on. The ever-necessary wise/endearing kid is pre-adolescent 'H' (Boo Jackson, who has the best name ever), who provides convenient non-sequiturs and asks endless questions.

One of the things I love about British films is their unfailing way of taking seriously a simple premise that in Hollywood would forgo depth for gratuitous boob shots. Writer/Director Ol Parker focuses on the details and realism in the characters' relationships.

The actors perform with wry subtlety, enjoying their zingers without dropping nuance for slapstick. The humour in the script supersedes sentimentality and clichĂŠ to present the kind of idealistic truth necessary in romantic comedy in a believable, rather than saccharine way. There is enough emotional fallout to allow for a sufficiently believable happy ending.

I enjoyed the film so much I felt a sudden desire to move to England and work exclusively on BBC films. (Sadly, that was accompanied by a sudden desire to diet off those extra five pounds so I could look as good as Perabo and Headey).

Who, by the way, seem to have no trouble with the whole 'gay' thing that everyone made a big deal of for Brokeback. Perabo's actually an old hand at it - you may have caught Lost and Delirious on cable - in which she plays a tormented private school student whose affair with a roommate shocks new roomie Mischa Barton and the ultimate rejection of her love drives her to despair.

I still don't believe in love at first sight - but I do say they make a decent argument for it.


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