Everyone quotes from Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," wherein "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." But few quote the lines just before that: "I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence." Correct me if I'm wrong, but those lines seem to make all the difference, regret leaking from Frost's pen. Of course, who hasn't wondered, with a sigh, how their lives might have turned out if they'd made different choices, even if they're happy with the choices they did make? I could have been a fireman. After all, it's the only thing I thought about until I was, like, 10. Pamela Drury (Rachel Griffiths), the "me" of Me Myself I, could have gotten married straight out of school, moved to the suburbs, had three kids and forever wondered whether she could have made it as a magazine writer. Instead, she stayed single, got her own apartment in the city, played with her friends' children until it was time to change the diaper and, yes, made it as a magazine writer. Regrets? She's had a few. In fact, soon after this rather tepid comedy begins, she comes close to offing herself with a hair-blower in the bathtub. Then something strange and wonderful happens: Pamela takes the road not taken. Writer-director Pip Karmel never really explains the metaphysics behind Pamela's little midlife-crisis episode. Suffice it to say she wakes up one morning with a preoccupied husband, three bratty kids (actually, two bratty kids and one who isn't sufficiently potty-trained) and, one would imagine, a desperate need to watch the last 10 minutes of It's a Wonderful Life. Or Peggy Sue Got Married. Or 1998's Sliding Doors. A what-if movie, Me Myself I is the kind of thing Hollywood can turn out in its sleep (and often does). The difference--the difference that's supposed to make all the difference--is that Me Myself I is Australian.
It makes some difference. Karmel, who's a woman, knows how to find the comedy in, say, a diaphragm that refuses to assume the position. And she's come up with at least one great line, delivered by Pamela's brand-new adolescent daughter: "Mom, if you haven't had a period yet, do you have to use a condom when you have sex?" Griffiths, who played the "normal" sister in Hilary and Jackie, floats through these moments with a combination of disbelief and aplomb. She may have too much talent for the role--Debra Winger in a Sandra Bullock vehicle. And the movie seems similarly stuck: neither Hollywood enough nor non-Hollywood enough. For Karmel, this may be the road not taken. For the rest of us: Been there, done that.