‘If I Were You’ Movie Review – What If…
When a woman saves her husband’s mistress from committing suicide, she finds herself with an unexpected and not entirely desired friendship in the new film, If I Were You. As the mistresses new BFF, Madelyn (played to perfection by the ever amazing Marcia Gay Harden) is in the unique position of being able to subtly manipulate the very young, over-sexed, utterly dependent Lucy (Leonor Watling, in a breakthrough performance), but all too soon she finds that she might actually like the woman with whom her husband is sleeping.
Without Lucy being aware of who Madelyn is, the women forge a slightly intoxicated deal that because they aren’t any good at making their own life choices, they each have to do what the other says. For Madelyn, this means she can interfere with her husband’s affair, but for Lucy, she is unknowingly able to break down some of the walls in Madelyn’s life, walls that have been keeping from finding true happiness.
This story had the potential to be so sad as it deals with the end of a marriage, the loss of a parent, and the death of so many little dreams, but make no mistake…in the capable hands of the writer and the actors, this turned out to be one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Marcia Gay Harden absolutely shines and she is brilliantly paired with Leonor Watling who created a modern day, slightly exotic, more than a little ditzy Holly Golightly. You know you’re not supposed to like her, as she’s knowingly sleeping with another woman’s husband, but you can’t help but like her.
One of the story structures in the film involves Madelyn encouraging Lucy (a wanna be actress) into auditioning for a production of King Lear, and ending up getting cast in the title role, with Lucy playing the Fool. Although the “play within a play” idea has been done a million times, it really worked here. I was only sad they didn’t show us more scenes, and I really think that Marcia Gay Harden should take the show to Broadway! She was mesmerizing as a corporate Lear.
Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this movie. It’s a wonderful example of how life rarely takes us where we expect it to, and how getting even is no substitute for growing and changing and moving on with life.
If I Were You arrives in select theatres on Friday, March 15th.