'Imagine Me and You'


Ever since Richard Curtis and Mike Newell perfected the British rom-com with "Four Weddings and a Funeral," other writers and directors have been trying to re-create that film's perfect blend of giddy character comedy, swooning romanticism and deftly deployed pop songs.

There were a few successes -- "Bridget Jones's Diary," which Curtis scripted, and "About a Boy," which he didn't -- but for the most part it's been a genre of diminishing returns. These days, all we dare expect from the genre is a superficial entertainment that can stay out of its own way until the credits roll.

Which brings us, in a roundabout way, to Ol Parker's "Imagine Me & You," the fluffy story of a young Londoner (Piper Perabo, who mostly manages the accent) who has the misfortune of meeting her soulmate on her wedding day. Small problem: It's not the groom (Matthew Goode). Bigger problem: It's not a man.

The soulmate in question, it turns out, is a gay florist played by Lena Headey, who starred alongside Perabo in "The Cave." The two actors' chemistry here more than makes up for the pitiful waste of their talents in the earlier work, and Parker surrounds them with a fine supporting cast, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer's" Anthony Stewart Head in a scene-stealing turn as Perabo's grumbly, drunken dad.

Yes, there are the usual missed signals, wacky misunderstandings and races to the airport. Yes, a pop song helps save the day. And yes, there's a spectacularly overdone wedding where you'll be scanning the pews for Hugh Grant or Andie MacDowell.

So, yes, it's your standard British rom-com. But the characters are drawn just sharply enough to make you think they might not necessarily hit the expected notes -- and by the time they do, you're fond enough of Perabo and Headey that you don't really mind the happy predictability.

Fox's flipper DVD offers a choice of full-frame and enhanced-widescreen presentations, each viewable with Parker's audio commentary and a selection of supplements.

The enhanced-widescreen side includes four deleted scenes, viewable separately or with a videotaped introductions and voiceover commentary by Parker; there's also a separate "director's statement," a three-minute montage of film footage under which Parker explains his motivations for making the film. (It's best not to watch this until you've seen the movie, as several key images are included.)

On the full-frame face, there's about 20 minutes of press-junket interviews with Parker, Heady and Perabo, and Goode -- incongruously presented in enhanced widescreen. It's fluff, but at least the actors are enjoying themselves.

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2006
PRICE: $27.98
TIME: 93 minutes
DVD EXTRAS: Spanish audio dub; French and Spanish subtitles; audio commentary; deleted scenes; cast and crew interviews.
INTERNET SITE: www.imaginemeandyoudvd.com

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