Me Myself & Her is billed as Italy’s first feature-length, lesbian-themed romantic comedy, although I might take issue with that, as it’s not what I’d normally think of as a rom com. I can see why they’d class it as that, but I’d more put it in the bracket of a light-hearted drama, as it didn’t exactly spend a lot of time trying to be funny, except for a few fairly amusing moments (particularly a scenes involving a dinner with one of the main character’s families).
In the movie, middle-aged Marina (Sabrina Ferilli) and Federica (Margherita Buy) have been together for a few years and are living in what seems like cosy domesticity. However, they may be ignoring a few glaring problems, which begind surface when Federica objects to the fact former actress Marina vaguely mentioned her in an interview. Federica still isn’t comfortable with her sexuality and doesn’t want the world at large knowing about her, something Marina has been assiduously ignoring, assuming that her lover would eventually just accept she’s a lesbian and come to terms with it.
Before Marina, Federica was married to a man and hadn’t even considered having a female lover, until she fell for Marina, and doesn’t feel she’d necessarily be with a woman again if they ever split. But with Marina considering going back to acting and possibly the limelight again, Federica begins to consider what she really wants, which results in her embarking on an affair with a man. However, is this just a bump in their romance, or the beginning of the end?
Quite often when countries that don’t often make them produce gay-themed movies, there’s a tendency for them to create something that feels a tiny bit old-fashioned. That’s true here, with a movie that thematically and plot-wise wouldn’t have felt out of place in an American lesbian-themed movie about 10 years ago. That’s not necessarily a criticism, just that it means Me Myself & Her doesn’t offer too much that’s new.
What it does do though is look extremely handsome, full of glossy visuals, Italian sunshine, and great acting from a couple of Italy’s best. Sabrina Ferilli is a multi award-winning actress, who some foreign film fans will know from her major role in Paolo Sorrentino’s 2013 Oscar-winning movie The Great Beauty. Margherita Buy meanwhile is a seven-time Donatello Award winner (the Italian equivalent of the Oscars), and therefore a bit of a screen legend in the country. They’re both on great form here, pulling you into their character’s lives as a couple, as well as the issues that threaten to break them apart.
It’s to Buy’s particular credit that she manages to keep Federica sympathetic, as in less shrewd hands she could have come across as selfish and rather unpleasant. However, Buy shows the character’s confusion and misguided search for inner peace without either making her seem deliberately cruel or merely becoming a bisexual stereotype by having an affair with a man while living with a woman.
Ultimately it’s not a movie that reveals anything all that new. Federica’s journey is interesting, but it’s not a particularly revealing one, and the screenplay doesn’t delve particularly deep into her psyche, or indeed why Marina is feeling the pull to go back to acting. However, with a light feel and some very handsome production values, it’s an enjoyable movie, even if it all feels a little too familiar.
Overall Verdict: Good acting, great production values and an enjoyable story ensure Me Myself & Her is very watchable, even if its glossy surface doesn’t hide too many hidden depths.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac