What, you might fairly ask, inspired me to think of this well-meaning-but-mediocre 2005 rom-com four years later? This entry stems from my refusal to see The Ugly Truth, which I'm pretty sure is the sort of treacly, cloying, romance that I can't abide, with a contrived, ultra-sentimental happy ending shoved down our throats. Like, oh, I don't know, Must Love Dogs. Or, God forbid, Made of Honor. Two people who are meant for each other, but whom fate has kept apart for an endless 100 minutes, dramatically come together with a big heartfelt speech (or two), maybe an interrupted wedding, and, of course, a big kiss. Needless to say, not my favorite brand of crowdpleaser.


Imagine Me & You, then, came to mind as an iteration of precisely this romantic comedy formula -- the epic, improbable, cheesy love-conquers-all ending -- done well. (Needless to say, spoilers are afoot.) The movie itself isn't all that good, and my admiration for the ending has nothing to do with the lesbian twist. Rather, what gets me about this scene -- which wraps up the film in a cool two-and-a-half minutes -- is how simple and direct it is. The hero realizing her mistake and chasing after the love interest in the film's climax is not new. But this version dispenses with the lame formalities. No race against time. No big speeches. No sappy voiceover. They find each other in a traffic jam. Piper Perabo's Rachel, who had previously waffled, declares her emphatic change of heart with a simple "I can do this!" They run into each other's arms, kiss, and the movie fades to the end credits.

Dramatically plausible? Hell no. But it's surprisingly touching -- the typical against-all-odds rom-com coda distilled to its essence. Of course, the movie returns with some unnecessary post-credits embellishments that you can also see in this clip. I recommend ignoring them. What this moving little scene shows is that if you're hanging your hat on a simple formula, it's best to actually keep it simple.