Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Movie with Abe: Me, Myself, and Her

Me, Myself, and Her
Directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi
Released on DVD December 6, 2016

The romantic comedy is a relatively universal genre. To many, it brings to mind Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan and a story of mismatched people getting together despite numerous obstacles that get in their way. It may also check in with couples years or even decades into their relationships, when new problems, however serious or humorous, begin to emerge. Since those two actresses regularly headlined such films, the genre has evolved - in some cases - to include more unconventional relationships. Billed as Italy’s first feature lesbian romantic comedy, “Me, Myself, and Her” is an entertaining and harmless look at two women in Italy who, after five years together, encounter new issues that threaten to rock their solid foundation.

Federica (Margherita Buy) is a respected architect who enjoys the day-to-day functions of her work and Marina (Sabrina Ferilli), a well-known actress when she was younger, runs a restaurant. They live together and balance quiet moments of intimacy at home with social outings with friends. A magazine interview with Marina shines an unexpected light on their relationship that gives Federica pause, and the allure of a new film role for Marina and a lost-opportunity romance with a man for Federica cause considerable friction between the two.

This film presents two successful women portrayed by actresses in their early fifties whose relationship is relatively normative. They encounter no instances of discrimination based on sexual orientation, and everyone who is aware that they are together finds it completely acceptable. Yet society hasn’t reached a point where deviation from standard ideas of sexuality is widespread, and therefore Federica feels no desire to broadcast her relationship to a wide public. Naturally, Marina’s interview deals extensively with her being an out actress, something she discusses freely and unabashedly. Aside from two women dating and Federica’s temptation being a man, there is little about this lesbian romantic comedy that distinguishes it from any other romantic comedy.

Both actresses who anchor “Me, Myself, and Her” are talented Italian stars with lengthy and successful careers. Buy, who appeared in “Mia Madre,” which was released this past August in the United States, is a screen legend with 15 David di Donatello nominations and seven awards to her name. She has a quietly assured presence that makes her a terrific fit to play Federica, especially opposite Ferilli, who recently appeared in “The Great Beauty” and earned her own Donatello nomination for this confident, commanding, and humorous performance. Together, they carry a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy that’s perfectly enjoyable and fun if not as groundbreaking as its genre announcement suggests.


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