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Me Myself I   C+

Sony Pictures Classics

Year Released: 1999 (USA: 2000)
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Pip Karmel
Writer: Pip Karmel
Cast: Rachel Griffiths, David Roberts, Sandy Winton, Trent Sullivan, Yael Stone, Shaun Loseby, Rebecca Frith, Felix Williamson.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if you had made a different choice at some point in your life? Say you're a thirtysomething single journalist named Pamela, whose professional life has been blooming for the past few years, but whose dating life is in a rut. You have to repeat self-help mantras to yourself in the mirror every morning to feel good about yourself. You tell your best friend that you're supposed to be married with a few kids by now, but somehow you missed the boat. A nice guy named Robert proposed to you 13 years ago, but you turned him down. You start to wonder how your life would be had you said yes to him all those years ago.

In the French comedy Me Myself I, Rachel Griffiths (who was Oscar-nominated for her role in Hilary and Jackie in 1998) plays independent career journalist Pamela, who gets to find out exactly how her life would have turned out if she had gotten married to Robert (David Roberts) over a decade ago. Crossing the street one day, Pamela is hit by a car. Turns out, it was Pamela #2 driving the car. Pamela #2 takes Pamela #1 back to her place, where it's instantly revealed that Pamela #2 is married to Robert and has three kids. The two women briefly discuss their lives with each other, then the kids arrive home from school. Pamela #2 vanishes, leaving a panicked Pamela #1 stranded in a life she knows nothing about.

The early scenes with Pamela coping with her alternate life have a queasy tension to them. We feel each moment of panic as surely as Pamela, but the tension is coupled with nervous laughter. But after the initial excitement wears off, Me Myself I drags us on a repetitive journey through the life of a mother struggling with three kids (including a five-year-old who knows she's not his real mother and asks, "When's Mommy gonna be home?") and trying to bring some spice back into her marriage. It's well-worn territory, but Rachel Griffiths' sparkling performance makes it worthwhile. It's just too bad the movie and the other characters around her aren't quite as interesting.

The ending will probably leave you with a smile on your face, and luckily Me Myself I lacks that sugary aftertaste that Hollywood films of this nature can often leave behind.

Review published 05.05.2000.

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