20 July 2000 | Stephen Groenewegen
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). The film flounders a little 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 (she received an Oscar nomination for editing Shine). Karmel is obviously close to her material, but she's not overly protective of it - she wants us to enjoy her conception. She has 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). She carried a film in Amy, but she played a glum, washed-out single mum. Here, she's a lot of fun. You want to know more about Pamela, and the subtle differences between the single and married Pamelas are simply, but impressively, conceived. She's well supported by David Roberts and Sandy Winton, as husband and potential boyfriend. Refreshingly for a romantic comedy, the men aren't thoroughly likeable or dislikeable. I found it easy to suspend my disbelief with Me, Myself, I. It's that rare beast: an Australian romantic comedy that's funny, and leaves you with a warm glow inside when it's over.