Imagine Me & You

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Directed by Ol Parker

3 stars





I’m always hesitant to trust movies that take their titles from the lyrics of popular songs.

Mediocre romantic comedies especially have notoriously abused this trend with less-than thrilling results (“Sweet Home Alabama” comes to mind).

Writer/director Ol Parker develops “Imagine Me & You” around the Turtles’s oldie “Happy Together.”

Although borrowing lyrics is a standard fixture of romantic comedies, “Imagine” posits an unexpected love triangle

It’s the day of Rachel’s (Piper Perabo “Coyote Ugly”) wedding to her dashing best mate Heck (Matthew Goode “Match Point”). As she walks down the aisle she notices a comely mystery woman. Time pauses (like it always does in the movies when two star-crossed lovers meet) as the two women gaze at one another. Ah, love at first sight.

The other woman is Luce (Lena Headey “The Brothers Grimm)), a happy-go-lucky florist with exquisitely well-defined cheekbones and glorious auburn tresses.

Of course, Rachel is now a married woman torn between leaving the man who has stood by her and coming out of the closet. And to boot, it’s a closet she didn’t even know she was in.

Awkwardness abounds when Rachel hesitantly asks her co-workers if they believe in soul mates, or whether they’ve ever “experimented” with girls.

Overall, the main problem with “Imagine” is a rigid screenplay full of clichéd lines more fitting for a Lifetime movie-of-the-week.

Despite the formulaic writing, the flick is bolstered by stellar turns from Headey and Goode, as they both outshine heroine Rachel.

For her part, Headey is absolutely adorable as a down-on-her-luck woman in the romance department. But Headey’s breathtaking beauty makes it difficult to believe she can’t find a date.

As the befuddled and confused husband, Matthew Goode is, appropriately, good. His charm and affability are readily apparent, as is his heartbreak.

Although Perabo dons a respectable British excellent, and her doe eyes are so innocently and cutely expressive, she fails to capture the audience like her co-stars.

It would be easy to lump “Imagine” with the current crop of gay-themed movies like “Brokeback Mountain,” but this flick is far too frothy and fluffy for such a comparison. In terms of tweaking the romantic comedy to accommodate modern notions of love, “Imagine” is rather sub-par.

If the writing were crisper and Perabo just a little more compelling, then perhaps this romantic comedy would have been humorously poignant.

Instead, it relies upon hackneyed romantic comedy techniques and that damn song “Happy Together.”