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Okay, so this whole alternate life thing is familiar territory (think If Only, think Sliding Doors). And anyone who's ever seen the annual Crimbo re-release of genre-grandaddy It's A Wonderful Life knows that getting what you wish for won't make you happy. But while Me Myself I doesn't offer anything startlingly new, Pip Karmel's romancer does at least walk a well-trodden road with a confident and often jaunty step.
Since you can count the scenes that she isn't in on the toes of one foot, you have to give the credit for this to Rachel Griffiths. The movie may be patchy (as a rule, Aussie films aren't afraid to follow moments of heart-rending delicacy with a few fart gags) but Griffiths bridges over the bumpier bits beautifully. As believable when Pamela contemplates suicide as she is when this reluctant instant mom has to wipe her four-year-old's bum, she turns in a touching, sexy and very funny performance.
The rest of the cast aren't in quite the same league, but nobody shames themselves. Roberts is stolidly effective as Pamela's bemused suburban hubbie, Winton's matinee idol looks means he passes muster as her alternate-reality lust object and the three kids are just fantastic. Jerry Maguire/Stuart Little sprog star Jonathan Lipnicki should start looking over his shoulder - four-year-old Trent Sullivan, with his curly-blond hair and scene-pilfering mannerisms, could make a serious bid for the Cutest Kid On Film crown.
Throw in an offbeat soundtrack and a neat line in occasional invective (there aren't many people who can tell someone to go to hell with Griffiths' panache), and you've got a happy, optimistic date movie that won't exactly rock your world but might just make it a nicer place for an hour or so.
Rachel Griffiths takes Pip Karmel's debut by the scruff of the neck and shakes it till an upbeat date-pleaser with zero pretensions falls out. Don't confuse it with upcoming gross-out comedy Me, Myself And Irene and everyone'll go home happy.
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