Published Feb 01, 2000The Very Thought Of You tells the story of three lifelong friends, Daniel (Tom Hollander), Frank (Rufus Sewell) and Laurence (Joseph Fiennes), whose priorities are called into questioned when they all independently and implausibly meet and fall for the same woman, American Dream Girl in London, Martha (Monica Potter). The ultra-successful, ultimately shallow Daniel is pitted against the bitter unemployed actor Frank in a harsh rivalry, with the ineffectual dreamer Laurence stuck in the middle. Laurence serves as a narrator of sorts, revealing the complicated story to a psychiatrist neighbour (Ray Winstone) piece by piece until the truth emerges. The film uses a non-linear structure, creating a patchwork of scenes that replay the events from the characters' different perspectives. This structure works well to keep the fairly predictable romantic comedy plot a little more engaging than your standard fare. Director Nick Hamm makes the film look good as well, using stylish camera work and editing to keep the film's repetition interesting. The script itself works when it's overtly funny, but the romantic moments are often clichéd and the narration is definitely overwritten. The acting is quite good, with particularly funny turns from Tom Hollander and Rufus Sewell, equally over-the-top in their self-obsession. Joseph Fiennes' Laurence gives the film its romantic centre, mixing charming self-deprecation with honest frustration. The only problematic performance is Monica Potter's, who makes the character of Martha so bland and annoying as to further put into question the plausibility of the film.