Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You, directed by Ol Parker, is a British film depicting Rachel (played by Piper Perabo), who realizes just after marriage that she is in fact attracted sexually to a woman. When the movie begins, preparations are underway for a wedding. Rachel and Heck (played by Matthew Goode), who have known each other since childhood, are about to be married at an appropriate age, notably when they have completed college and are now gainfully employed. A handsome couple they are, and everything appears to go quite well, although Heck is too shy to make a few remarks at the reception, so Rachel speaks for him. One of the wedding reception caterers is Luce (played by Len Headey), who brings magnificent floral bouquets. Rachel finds Luce to be such a lively interlocutor that she persuades Heck to invite her to a dinner at their residence during the first week of their marriage as a way of thanking her for her kindness. Soon, Luce and Rachel come to the realization that they have fallen in love with each other at first sight. Rachel and Heck, having known each other so long, find marriage to be somewhat of a letdown after all the years of courting; there is no passion between the two, and Rachel even resists having sex with her new husband. Heck, moreover, is dissatisfied with his new job at a brokerage institution because he must lie to get customers; he brings home his frustrations, which hardly inspire Rachel to greet him lovingly. Soon, Rachel is visiting Luce at her florist shop, and the two even go to a soccer match one evening because Heck cannot use his ticket due to a nighttime business engagement. A passionate kiss between the two women is in store, and the obvious problem emerges: Rachel is married to a delightful, decent man whom she likes but does not love. Convention dictates that she should end her attraction to Luce in order to remain faithful to her husband, so she seeks advice. Her father Ned (played by Anthony Head), confessing that his marriage has not been very happy because he has been henpecked, urges her to follow her heart. Her mother Tessa (played by Celia Imrie), the henpecker, is ambivalent. Heck’s best friend, the lascivious heterosexual Coop (played by Darren Boyd), meanwhile, gives unsolicited advice to Luce not to break up a wonderful marriage. Even Heck is willing to go his separate way if she chooses to end the marriage for a true love. At the same time, Luce has been accustomed to short-term relationships, so falling for Rachel would be a commitment that she may not be ready to make, especially with a conflicted partner. The climax in the film’s excellent dialog is how the two women in love resolve their dilemmas. A byproduct of Rachel’s effort to make a decision is that her father’s honesty about his marriage provokes her mother to stop henpecking. Another byproduct is that Luce’s strong desire for a relationship with Rachel inspires the former’s divorcée mother Ella (played by Sue Johnson) to clean up her act and go out on a date one night. If the two women decide to pair off, a loose end will be what happens to Heck, who at one point quits his job because he cannot lie to clients any more. The paradigm of a person discovering that marriage without passion is a letdown, thus, is joined with the paradigm that consciousness of same-sex attraction often comes at inconvenient times in one’s life. The title comes from the first four words of the 1967 song Happy Together, performed by The Turtles, which concludes the film. MH

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