Boosted by a fine, breakout turn by New Jersey native Piper Perabo as a young British newlywed, Ol Parker's charmingly bittersweet romantic comedy tackles quite a serious subject with sensitivity and respect. After years of warm friendship and a cozy courtship, bright young Londoners Rachel (Perabo) and Heck (Matthew Goode) finally tie the knot with a smart...read more
Boosted by a fine, breakout turn by New Jersey native Piper Perabo as a young British newlywed, Ol Parker's charmingly bittersweet romantic comedy tackles quite a serious subject with sensitivity and respect. After years of warm friendship and a cozy courtship, bright young Londoners Rachel (Perabo) and Heck (Matthew Goode) finally tie the knot with a smart ceremony that gathers together all their friends and family, including Rachel's woozy father, Ned (Anthony Head), and her tart, unhappy mother, Tessa (Celia Imrie). The seeds of discord, however, are sown before the bride even reaches the altar. As she's walking down the aisle on Ned's arm, Rachel accidentally locks eyes with Luce (Lena Headey), the attractive florist who'd been hired to create the flower arrangements. Rachel shakes off the feeling and says "I do," but she runs into Luce again at the reception; in a bit of ironic foreshadowing, Luce helps Rachel retrieve her wedding ring which has slipped off her finger and into the punch bowl. Uncertain of her feelings for her new acquaintance, Rachel decides to set up Luce with Heck's incorrigibly single best friend, Cooper (Darren Boyd), without knowing one important fact about Luce: She's gay. Needless to say, the blind date is a bust, but over the inedible dinner Heck cooked for the foursome, a heated discussion over the definition of love throws Rachel's dilemma into high relief: Should love be the safe, comfortable dependency that she and Heck obviously share, or the shock-felt-across-the-room, love-at-first-sight blast of passion she experienced with Luce? Once Rachel learns that Luce is in fact gay — a bit of news that comes from Heck, of all people — Rachel's confused feelings for Luce intensify, and her confusion begins to affect her relationship with Heck. Her sudden lack of interest in sex leads Heck to believe he's doing something wrong. Rachel, meanwhile, knows she loves her husband, but is it the kind of love she's looking for? Few films could be further from BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, but their themes are strikingly similar — both deal with young married people who always thought of themselves as straight until faced with an unalterable fact about the human heart: It wants what it wants. But where BROKEBACK leaves its lovers where gay love stories have left them for centuries — isolated, ostracized and miserable — this small comedy finds a far more liberated alternative for everyone involved. In its own modest way, it's the far more radical film.
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