Movie Review by Neil Ryan
Starring: Rachel Griffiths, David Roberts
Director: Phillippa Karmel
ME MYSELF I is hardly original in its themes: a confluence of BRIDGET JONES style pre-mid-life angst and SLIDING DOORS parallel life fantasy it features lead character Pamela (Rachel Griffiths) single, miserable, and pondering over what could have been if she had walked in a different direction at the crossroads of her life.
Despite a slightly ragged opening fifteen minutes the film develops engagingly and makes effective use of the ‘what if’ concept – a plot device that has served film-makers well ever since Jimmy Stewart stumbled into the town of Pottersville and life stopped being quite so wonderful.
Pamela is successful at work, she owns her flat, has travelled the world, but in her quest for a relationship she has developed a penchant for finding Mr So-not-right. So obsessed is she with discovering the missing piece from her puzzle of life that she even contemplates committing suicide. But then, just as she has reached the nadir of her life as a single woman Pamela has a life altering encounter with… herself; or rather, her other self.
She meets Pamela Two – the person she would have been if she had made different choices in life, specifically accepting the proposal of marriage she spurned from one-time sweetheart Robert (David Roberts). And just as she is coming to terms with the incredulity of her situation Pamela Two disappears leaving Pamela to cope with newly acquired husband Robert and ‘their’ three children. The resultant misunderstandings and mishaps provide plenty of humour and drama and Pamela undergoes an obvious, if amusing, journey of self-discovery.
Good performances and a breezy pace keep the plot rolling along nicely with ample opportunity for the film’s standpoint to be emphasized (i.e. the grass is not always greener, do not cry over spilt milk, etc). And although ME MYSELF I does not startle or astound, and the feel-good factor never threatens to go into overdrive, writer/director Pip Karmel avoids an excess of sentimentality and thus produces a film that is impossible to dislike.