Projections - Movie Reviews

Me Myself I Me Myself I

Another film about a crisis in one's life, albeit an early mid life pain, is magically given a universality and wit with unrelenting charm by Rachel Griffiths in the energetic, poignant Me Myself I.  This French backed dramatic comedy written and directed by Australian Pip Karmel, known for her sharp editing for colleague Scott Hicks in Shine deals in a rather obvious situation of trying not to live in the past.  But Karmel and her winsome lead injects sparkling spryness to a modern woman who engages in "what if" of another life that has its ups and downs.

Griffiths, in all but three scenes, is seen at the start as a busy Sydney journalist, Pamela.  Pamela, who has mantras about changing her life for the better - beyond a successful career and the cool blush tones of outdoor life, gives way to suburbia after a funny messed up suicide in her bathtub has Pamela confronting her other self and thus taking off her leather jacket as a single 30ish woman and assuming the identity of Pamela, the wife of her dream hubby, Robert Dickson (David Roberts), a middle class architect, and mother to three kids.

So, this new existence which generates much comedy from her naive ways around the house, especially with the kids who are a bit puzzled about her tentative nature, and her involvement in their daily lives is interwoven with Pamela's passion to have a man.  And her handling of Robert who is consumed with work, shows Griffiths adding more quality to her single Pamela who occupies almost all of the movie.

It helps that this often hectic farce is well written by Karmel who seems to know the worlds of independence and marriage so well.  Her first picture will probably be related to Sliding Doors by many with its fantasy of taking on a different road in one's life if that train or collision occurred, but Karmel warms things up with a comic, even moving understanding that somehow balances the career and family life, as Griffiths exceeds Gwyneth Paltrow's engaging turn.

If it is perceived as a stereotype of the modern woman being insecure, Me Myself I seems to feed off the situations it is presented and it spurns truth from the emotions that arise and Griffiths responds in a way that anchors this comedy with vulnerability and firmness.  Fine support from Roberts and Pamela and Robert's kids, the youngest of whom knows that mommy is away, conveys the broad notion of how well Griffiths shines in a dual purpose role.

Hopefully, from Karmel's earnestly felt film, Griffiths will emerge with more of a leading presence.  Being able to play off herself in a scene, and relating a lack of self esteem, she works endearingly to make one learn through fantasy how to stay strong.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Kathleen
Avg.
Me Myself I
 
 
 
B+
 
B+
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