Fox Home Entertainment presents
Imagine Me and You (2005)
"You make me feel something I absolutely cannot feel."- Rachel (Piper Perabo)
Stars: Piper Perabo, Lena Headey, Matthew Goode
Other Stars: Celia Imrie, Anthony Head, Darren Boyd, Eva Birthistle, Boo Jackson
Director: Ol Parker
MPAA Rating: R for (some language, sexual material)
Run Time: 01h:33m:33s
Release Date: 2006-06-27
Genre: romantic comedy
DVD ReviewLove stories involving two members of the same sex tend to take a straightforward, comedic route, as far as overall style and genre goes. Only a handful of daring filmmakers through the years have taken chances with such tales and delivered poignant, dramatic, well balanced experiences. Imagine Me and You falls somewhere in-between, blending just enough comedy into a realistic, dramatic plot that is more smile-inducing than all-out funny. With a stellar cast of up-and-coming young actors on board, this little-seen British production deserves a much larger audience on DVD.
The film opens with Rachel (Piper Perabo) awakening on her wedding day. She's to marry Heck (Matthew Goode), and they do just that in a lush, beautiful ceremony. As Rachel is walking down the aisle, she makes brief eye contact with a woman who leaves her mesmerized. It turns out this woman is Luce (Lena Heady), the newlyweds' florist. The two formally meet and there's an instant connection; albeit one that could change their lives more than they, or anyone close to them, realize. With outside influences like Heck's best friend Cooper (Darren Boyd) and Rachel's kid sister H (Boo Jackson), the culmination of this forbidden love may never occur.
The overriding joy of this little film is just how fresh and original the story is. It never bombards its audience with romantic comedy clichés, formulaic set pieces, or unnecessary plot twists. Saing here that Rachel and Luce fall in love isn't giving anything more away than the DVD's cover does, and director Ol Parker's approach is a no-nonsense one, as he gets the homosexual aspect of the story out in the open pretty early on. He avoids exploitation as well, and focuses on the complexities of love, never stooping to gratuitous sex scenes. Sure, we can see the ending coming a mile away, but it's an incredibly good time getting there, and any other finale would have pretty much killed the first hour and charge of positive energy that Parker has crafted.
What might seem like light, fluffy material on the surface turns out to be the result of the writer (Parker again) walking a fine line between romantic comedy and truly dark, taboo subjects. Putting a homosexual relationship on the screen is still not everyone's cup of tea, but adding infidelity to the equation is even more controversial. Plus, everyone wants to see people wind up with their "soul mates," but at what cost? Is it right to sacrifice the feelings of truly good, kindhearted people, to be with your one, true love? Questions like these are inevitable and more than welcomed, yet are never forced upon the viewer by Parker; instead, they add to what is one of the more fluid, enjoyable indie movie experiences I've had in a long time. There's so much dialogue that could have come across as the ultimate cheeseball fluff, but this rare, complete package of a film avoids a descent into camp.
I haven't cared about a group of characters this much in a long time, as every actor is as endearing as they come. Perabo (who surprisingly maintains a British accent throughout) and Heady's characters are the focal points of the story, but the best performance is turned in unquestionably by Matthew Goode. He also impressed late last year in Woody Allen's Match Point, and exudes even more charm as a caring husband caught in a situation many may subconsciously fear. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer fans will be glad to see their beloved Giles, Anthony Head, playing Rachel's eccentric father. His is a strange performance, as Head often seems like he's had a stroke or some other debilitating disease, but he plays a huge part in the film's climax, giving some amazing advice to his daughter. The best part about this advice and all of the film's messages: they can also be taken to heart by everyone that has the pleasure of experiencing Ol Parker's debut film.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A
|Aspect Ratio||2.35:1 - Widescreen||1.33:1 - P&S|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes||no|
Image Transfer Review: This dual-sided disc offers the option of watching the film in either its original anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen format, or a cropped pan-and-scan presentation. Both are solid (despite the loss of information in the latter version), complete with detailed, sharp images that benefit from strong shadow and black levels. The color scheme is bright and vivid, while dirt, grain, and other print flaws are kept to a minimum.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is equally impressive, complete with nice directional effects and aggressive bass. The wonderful music (including a tune by Camera Obscura) is blended nicely with the rest of the mix, and the dialogue is always crystal clear.
Audio Transfer Grade: A
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Thank You For Smoking
4 Deleted Scenes
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director/writer Ol Parker
Packaging: Keep Case
- Q&A With Director and Cast - Collection of interview footage.
- Director's Statement
There's a Q&A with Director and Cast that runs for 19 minutes and contains sit-downs with Parker, Piper Perabo, Lena Headey, and Matthew Goode. There's a ton of candid information divulged, making this a bit more interesting than the commentary track.
A three-minute Director's Statement features Parker reading a personal passage that inspired the story.
Four deleted scenes are also available, and the option of viewing them with or without an introduction/commentary by Parker. These clips, with the introductions, run for just under nine minutes, and feature some interesting subplots that are worth a look.
Extras Grade: B+
Final CommentsImagine Me and You has the pedigree of a sleeper indie hit, but now gets another chance thanks to Fox Home Video's DVD, which features excellent audio and video presentations, as well as some valuable supplements.
Chuck Aliaga 2006-06-26