I Love You Too


Directed by: Daina Reid
Written by:Peter Helliar
Starring: Yvonne Strahovski, Peter Dinklage, Brendan Cowell, Bridie Carter, Megan Gale, Steve Bisley, Peter Helliar
Released: May 6, 2010
Grade: C+

You’ve only got to look at the poster for I Love You Too to see that it has a pretty diverse cast.  Brendan Cowell is an AFI nominated actor.  Yvonnne Strahovski is the star of a popular U.S. television show.  Peter Dinklage is an American with a string of major credits to his name.  Megan Gale is a supermodel.  Peter Helliar is a stand-up comedian.  They’ve all come together to try something to make something we don’t often see in this country – an Australian romantic comedy.

It’s a simple plot which centres on Jim (Cowell) and his girlfriend of more than three years, Alice (Strahovski).  They’re out at dinner one night and Jim pulls a ring from his pocket.  Alice starts to get excited.  Is this going to be the moment she’s been waiting for?  The answer is no.  It turns out Jim’s gift is just a “commitment ring” and Alice isn’t happy.  She gets something else off her chest.  Not once in all their time together has he ever said “I love you”.

Alice breaks it off with Jim and starts planning a permanent move to London.  Jim knows his time his short and that he’ll do anything to get her back.  His best friend Blake (Helliar) isn’t much help though.  There’s a dumb scene in the film where he hires an older-looking prostitute to help Jim get “back in the game”.  I guess I didn’t find this as funny as some.

When Jim gets his best advice is from an American guy named Charlie (Dinklage) who he meets in rather unusual circumstances.  They agree that Jim should write a love letter to Alice and express his true feelings.  Will it work?  Can Alice’s heart be won back?

I do my best to support Australian cinema but I didn’t like this movie.  I didn’t mind the opening but it degenerates with each passing minute.  The jokes are silly and it reminded me in many ways of a cheesy American sitcom.  The only thing missing was a laugh track in the background.  I kept hoping the film would be redeemed by a great ending but alas, it was not to be.

It’s Peter Helliar’s first screenplay and I give him credit for getting this off the ground.  As filmmakers in this country will tell you, it’s tough finding the financiers to bring local scripts to life.  That said, I didn’t think much of the writing here.  There are some sub-plots (such as Alice’s friendship with her boss) that go nowhere.

The best scenes in the film revolve around the great Peter Dinklage.  He’s a gifted actor who many will remember from films including The Station Agent and Death At A Funeral.  A friend of mine summed it up best when he said he cared more about Dinklage than the two leads.  That’s spot on.  He’s the film’s only interesting character.

There’s an audience for romantic comedies in Australia.  That’s the only way I explain how the god-awful The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler recently made $5m here.  Will we support a locally made rom-com?  We’ll find out from this Thursday.