I'm with Lucy (2002) / Comedy-Romance

MPAA Rated: R for some sexuality and language
Running Time: 90 min.

Cast: Monica Potter, Henry Thomas, David Boreanaz, Anthony LaPaglia, John Hannah, Gael Garcia Bernal, Harold Ramis, Julie Christie
Director: Jon Sherman
Screenplay: Eric Pomerance
Review published March 6, 2003

Interesting how such an well-made, amiable romantic comedy would practically head straight to video, especially one that is much better than the typical big budget releases.  I guess that's why they are called hidden gems.  I'm with Lucy isn't going to score any points on originality or even unpredictability, but given the limitations of the genre, it's a fine example of how to do it right.  While Monica Potter (Con Air, Patch Adams) may have similar looks and mannerisms to another great romantic comedy actress, Julia Roberts, she is also blessed with some of the same talent, at least as far as comedic personality goes.  Potter carries the film with her quirky charm and interesting, insightful delivery, and with a supporting cast as solid as this, it's a sweet, often funny film that should please those seeking one.

Potter is the titular character, Lucy, a young New York City woman recently dumped by her boyfriend for not being that great in the sack.  Adding insult to injury, she is having a hard time finding Mr. Right now that she's free to mingle again, but have no fear, Lucy does eventually get married.  In the meantime, we are introduced to the five men she has dated prior to the wedding: a recently-divorced entomologist (John Hannah, The Hurricane), a former star baseball player (Anthony LaPaglia, The Salton Sea), a yuppie computer salesman (Henry Thomas, Suicide Kings), a sex-hungry author (Gael Garcia Bernal, Don't Tempt Me), and an ambitious surgeon (David Boreanaz, "Angel").  They all have their own quirks, but only one wins his way into Lucy's heart. 

It takes a few scenes to get into I'm with Lucy, with its broad sense of humor meshed with a quieter, more introspective view on dating, but once things gel a bit, it almost never misses a beat.  It's the second film by independent filmmaker Jon Sherman (Breathing Room), working with first-time screenwriter Eric Pomerance's script, but it feels like the work of more seasoned veterans, with a good balance of storytelling and character development that pays off quite well during the film's more romantic moments.  Above and beyond all else, it's really the cast that shines in this one, with solid casting in each respective role, and, of course, Potter sparkles in her first starring role, hopefully the first of many.

So the next time you're in the video store and in the mood for a romantic comedy, take a look for I'm with Lucy, for a colorful and somewhat touching formula flick that will remind you of some of the best of Julia, and not just because of Potter.  A very pleasant surprise on all counts.

Qwipster's rating:

2003 Vince Leo