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IMAGINE ME & YOU

About The Production

Love at first sight; love under duress; platonic love; mad love; unrequited love; love that defies the rules; love that hurts; love that saves you – these are just a few of the various iterations of love that cause chaos, confusion and ultimately transform the lives of the characters in the heartfelt, humor-filled British comedy, IMAGINE ME & YOU.

The film is written by, and marks the directorial debut of, Ol Parker, already considered part of a promising new generation of British filmmakers, who previously wrote the hip nightclub drama LOVED UP, the date-rape drama IN YOUR DREAMS and the crime caper IT WAS AN ACCIDENT. Having just been married himself (to actress Thandie Newton), Parker sat down to write about a subject close to his heart: how people fall in love and how love, in one way or another, comically and profoundly complicates life.

"I always start writing thinking about themes rather than plots,” Parker explains. "This time I knew I wanted to write about love as a force of nature, and specifically about the phenomenon of love at first sight, which is what happened with my wife and me. I started wondering: what would be the worst possible time and place to suddenly fall crazy in love? Clearly the answer was your wedding day, so that became the initial inspiration for the story.”

As Parker was writing the opening scenes – focusing on the impending marriage between vivacious Rachel and her mild-mannered husband-to-be, Heck – he suddenly realized that the person who was about to make Rachel mad with bewildering feelings of connection was the wedding's florist . . . who also happened to be a woman. Like Rachel, Parker decided to go with his gut instincts. In a very real sense, he decided that the gender of Rachel's new love was, aside from being an unconventional twist for a romantic comedy, beside the point. It was the strength and conviction of Rachel's feelings – even in the face of a myriad of questions raised in regards to what she should do about them – that made the story so interesting to him.

"I really wanted to write the script in such a way that, although there's a same-sex love story involved, an audience of my parents and their friends would enjoy it,” notes Parker.

Spiced with Parker's trademark style of verbal wit and droll observations of modern behavior, the script for IMAGINE ME & YOU quickly won over British producer Sophie Balhetchet. She recalls that she simply couldn't put the screenplay down. "It was funny and touching and the premise was so intriguing: if you experience love at first sight and you are in another relationship what do you do? Do you act upon it or turn your back on it? It's such an enormous force,” says Balhetchet, "so do you dare to let it pass? And, if not, can you bear to hurt someone you also love?”

Balhetchet continues: "The script looked at these timeless questions with a new twist that gave the story a complexity within the romantic comedy genre that I thought was particularly original. The character of Rachel has come to one of those junctures in life where you know you can no longer go back to the way you were before, however much you might want to; and, in a very real sense, it is suddenly upon you to decide if you are going to live your life truthfully.” As for the relationship between Rachel and Luce, Balhetchet found it more moving and charming than controversial. "It's really to do with the quality of the connection between them and not their genders,” she observes. "In that way, the fact that they are two women really seemed by the by.”

Producer Andro Steinborn vividly recalls his first encounter with the screenplay. "I remember reading the script sitting in a busy cafÈ in the center of Berlin, frequen

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