Me Myself I

Reviewed By Stephen Groenewegen
Posted 05/15/00 08:55:31

4 stars (Worth A Look)

Me, Myself, I combines two genres of romantic comedy: the "body swap" with the "what if?" story (you know, Dating the Enemy meets Sliding Doors). It's also that rare beast: an Australian romantic comedy that's funny, and leaves you with a warm glow inside when it's over.

The film flounders in the first twenty minutes or so as it establishes Pamela (Rachel Griffiths), single and luckless in love. Pamela is a journalist, and has just met a fellow writer (Sandy Winton) who seems to be the perfect mate. Until she sees him with his kids... Pamela is wondering what her life would have been like if she'd married high school sweetheart Robert Dickson (David Roberts) when WHAM! she's hit by a car. She comes to in the arms of married Pamela (also Rachel Griffiths) who takes her home to her suburban house, three kids and married life with Robert.

This is writer-director Pip Karmel's first feature (but the fact that she edited Shine, and was nominated for an Oscar, has opened doors for this film in America). Karmel is obviously close to her material, but she's not overly protective of it - she wants us to enjoy her conception. She's found the perfect star in Rachel Griffiths, who we're more used to seeing in supporting roles (most famously, Muriel's Wedding and Hilary and Jackie).

It's the perfect starring role for Griffiths. She carried a film in Amy, but she played a glum, washed-out single mum. Here, she's a lot more fun, and she tides you over the film's slow start - you want to know more about Pamela, and the subtle differences between the single and married Pamelas are simple, but impressive. She's well supported by David Roberts and Sandy Winton, as husband and potential boyfriend. Refreshingly for a romantic comedy, neither of them are thoroughly likeable or dislikeable. Yael Stone, Shaun Loseby and Trent Sullivan are also terrific as Pamela's kids.

I found it easy to suspend my disbelief with Me, Myself, I. There's a neat twist at the end, which I didn't see coming, that accelerates the story and brings it to a satisfying, warm-hearted close.

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