Alternate Title: Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence
When I lived in my beloved Minnesota, I dreamed of visiting foreign locales but being practical, unlike Martha (Monica Potter) in Nick Hamm’s The Very Thought of You, I never longed to impulsively escape a ho-hum existence by grabbing the first flight out of Minneapolis for $99 and heading to England with just $35 to my name. Of course, had I, like risk-taking Martha been pursued by not one but three dashing Brits, I may have decided to be a bit more daring. Daniel, the first man Martha meets is the type of guy who makes grand romantic gestures only seen in films like anonymously-- under the guise of it being sheer luck-- buying the beguiling blonde he’s never met (with a Julia Roberts smile to boot) an upgraded airline ticket on his plane when he learns her destination in the hopes of getting to know her, only to realize that despite her free-spirited nature, she’s no fool and quickly sells her new “prize” ticket for the cash. Taking a hit to both the ego and heart, Daniel leaves first class and goes back to sit with Martha in coach for the long flight and while they manage to become acquainted and the sparks only seem to fly on his side, once her feet hit London soil, Martha also manages to meet-cute with Daniel’s two best friends, Frank (The Illusionist’s Rufus Sewell), a bitter out-of-work actor and Laurence (Shakespeare in Love’s Joseph Fiennes), a sensitive soul whom we soon suspect may be Martha’s Mr. Right. While of course, logic is thrown right out the window when we are faced with the proposition that one American tourist would stumble on all three buddies in a city as large and bustling as London, England but like old comedies of the 30’s and 40’s, The Very Thought of You works—despite the unlikelihood of plot and characters—due to the strength of the charms of the young, attractive cast, especially Potter (Along Came a Spider, Patch Adams) and the equally adorable Joseph Fiennes. Although sure to be forgotten on DVD shelves or overlooked on premium cable channels despite some of the high profile stars (including character actor Ray Winstone as Fiennes’ neighbor), the film may be of particular interest to fans of its writer Peter Morgan who’s the only screenwriter in history to have two different scripts for The Queen and The Last King of Scotland respectively garner stars Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker the Best Actress and Actor Academy Awards in the same year. While a far cry from his historical scripts, The Very Thought of You is amiable romantic fare from Miramax—the studio that in the 90’s brought us a plethora of irresistibly comedic British love stories such as Sliding Doors and Four Weddings and a Funeral.