By Zofia Wijaszka
This article contains spoilers to “Imagine Me & You.”
“Imagine Me & You” is written and directed by Ol Parker. This British film tells the story of Rachel (Piper Perabo), who, on the day of her wedding with Heck (Matthew Goode), meets a florist, Luce (Lena Headey). With her, everything drastically shifts in Rachel’s life. Throughout the film’s course, a young wife must decide about her future and find out who she really is and with whom she belongs. At the same time, the character has to be a role model for her little sister, H (Boo Jackson), and a good daughter to her parents, Tessa (Celia Imrie) and Ned (Anthony Head).
Although the betrayal isn’t something I take lightly and never will, it was so incredibly memorable for me, as a fourteen-year-old, to see a bisexual woman who just found out that she’s a bisexual and tries to navigate her newly found truth. Rachel was one of the few lucky people to find her soulmate. She was unlucky, however, that she has found Luce while walking through the aisle. When their eyes locked, and the stare lingered, my little young heart skipped a bit. I didn’t know then as to why it happened. The answer came a few years later, but that moment stays with me, and I like to go back to “Imagine Me & You” whenever I can.
“When Rachel struggles coming up to terms with her new reality and strong yet inappropriate feelings to Luce, the other only desires a stable life and a loving partner.”
The characters are opposites – from the way they act to the way they dress. Rachel is more official, sophisticated almost. Although the jeans are no stranger for her, she has a professional aura around her. She works at a corporation or office. On the other hand, Lucy owns a small yet charming flower shop with the help of her friend, Edie (Eva Birthistle). She wears loose clothes and almost no make-up. She’s more free-spirited and, thus, completely open when it comes to her sexual orientation. When Rachel struggles coming up to terms with her new reality and strong yet inappropriate feelings to Luce, the other only desires a stable life and a loving partner.
What makes “Imagine Me & You” even more remarkable is the fact that Rachel’s confusion doesn’t come directly from the fact that Luce is a woman. There is some mention of it, yes. But the most profound impact on Perabo’s character has a marriage with Heck. The betrayal of her newly established life hurts both of the characters. Rachel is cross with herself and decides to break any contact with Luce. They say good-byes at the top of the hill. “Don’t forget me,” Luce says. “I won’t remember anything else,” Rachel replies and goes back to her life.
That, however, doesn’t last long because Heck is a smart man. While his heart breaks, he knows that Rachel will never indeed be happy because her heart belongs to Luce. What marveled me the most was when Perabo’s character realizes that she can be who she truly is – a bisexual woman who is in love with Luce. After a quick coming out to her parents, Rachel goes to get Luce back.
It’s worth mentioning that back in 2005, this film was one of only a few with a happy ending for a same-sex couple. Up until the late 2010s, the directors had an awful tendency for one person to go back to the partner of different sex or with the death of one or both individuals—films as such paint a sad picture, especially for LGBTQ+ youth. That’s why I was so astonishingly happy to watch “Carol” further down the line – the period drama by Todd Haynes. The spectacle of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara portraying two women falling in love in the 60s made me think that those kinds of films help influence a society where so many young people are still scared to come out of the closet.
“It’s worth mentioning that back in 2005, this film was one of only a few with a happy ending for a same-sex couple. Up until the late 2010s, the directors had an awful tendency for one person to go back to the partner of different sex or with the death of one or both individuals—films as such paint a sad picture, especially for LGBTQ+ youth.”
“Imagine Me & You” is not the most astonishing picture but it’s still a lovely, warm rom-com with elements of drama. Its subject is essential in regards to pop culture and society, even now. It helped me and shone a light on diversity and, in turn, made me realize my sexual orientation later in life. It’s interesting how film can shape your future, even if you don’t know it. It’s a soul-lifting film with Lena Headey and Piper Perabo, who have incredible chemistry portraying Luce and Rachel. If you want to watch something warm about love, soulmates and finding each other, this is the film.