As a British romantic comedy, Imagine Me and You will always draw comparisons to films such as Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings and Funeral but the level of reality portrayed in these films compared to Imagine Me and You is one of the major distinctions. Glittery moments, such as the doorstep scene between Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincon in Love Actually, are few and far between in the film, but this is by no means a criticism. The film never lacks any tenderness, in fact quite the contrary as it creates a greater impression of reality because of less ostentatious cinematography and mise-en scene. Occasionally the film falls into the trap of representing a very American idea of Britishness. The characters are all upper class Londoners, attractive, well-off with successful jobs. The male characters are foolish, awkward, hapless 'twits' but this does not detract from the charm of the film.
The film follows Rachel (Piper Perabo) her fiancé/husband Heck (Matthew Goode) and their wedding florist Luce (Lena Heady) who immediately has an impact on Rachel leading her to re-assess her seemingly perfect relationship.
The film honours love of different kinds. The love between Rachel and Heck, who are married at the beginning of the film is never disputed or questioned, they were best friends and this developed into a quite obvious love and adoration between the couple. Rachel loves Heck, but she is not *in* love with him. However, with Luce, Rachel experiences the instant, intense, exciting, passionate, all encompassing love at first sight. The fact that Rachel is experiencing this with a woman is not the issue, but rather that the first time Rachel catches Luce's eye is on her way down the aisle.
Unlike other films of the same genre, the characters are well developed and multi-layered. The comedy is typical foot-in-the-mouth humour, and silly one-liners, but is delivered with impeccable timing mostly by the parents. (Anthony Head plays an excellent aged Hugh Grant character and Celia Imrie is wonderful as a prim and proper, sharp mother.) The other performances are subtle, with all of the tenderness, heartbreak, humour, intensity and confusion that the script asked of the performers.
Imagine Me and You has high production values, is written and directed with care and sensitivity the truth isn't over thought, over polished, or softened and is a refreshing modern representation of love.
But of course, most important for a British viewer - Piper Perabo's accent is remarkably good.