As a debutante film director making the big leap after a decade behind the camera on some of Australian television’s most popular series, Daina Reid has got every right to expect a great deal of the public’s attention should be squarely focussed on her. But, like many women before her, Reid must accept that the eyes of a cinema-going nation will be on supermodel-turned-actress Megan Gale – she of the towering physique and Luna Park-like smile – who also makes her big-screen debut in the romantic comedy I Love You Too.

And Reid is just fine with that.

'Our editor, Ken Sallows, a legend of Australian cinema, a really big man, 6 foot 4 with big shoulders, called me and said 'I’m watching the scenes with Peter (Dinklage) and Megan Gale and I can’t stay in the room, I have to leave’, ' recounts Reid, in the midst of a frantic publicity tour to promote the romantic comedy’s nationwide release. 'I’m like 'My God, whats wrong? What’s happened?’ and he said 'No, it’s just all a little too emotional’ '. Reid talks down her own contribution in helping the neophyte actress capture some of the film’s most tender moments. 'Megan does a great job; she is remarkable in the film."

Ably supported by man-of-the-moment Brendan Cowell, fellow first-timer Peter Helliar, who both wrote and co-stars in the film, and starlet Yvonne Strahovski, Reid brings a sure-hand to the romantic entanglements of a group of Melbourne Generation-Y’ers faced with the onset of mature love and a lifetime of commitment. Working closely with Helliar (a close friend from their time together on the sketch-comedy show Skithouse), the pair drew on the struggles they shared with those around them.

'None of [the situations and characters] seemed that alien to us," she says. 'We had seen so many friends of ours, so many couples, have these sorts of moments, that it all rang very true."

Reid freely admits she lucked-out with a cast of talented young performers at the top of their game. 'Brendan Cowell and I had such a wonderful time creating the character of 'Jim’; having worked with Peter Helliar on sketch comedy, seeing his transition from comedy-performer to actor was remarkable – he pulls of some of the most tender moments in the film; Yvonne Strahovski is such a revelation, so luminous," she beams, exuding a genuine affection for her players.

A particular challenge for Reid was finding the heartbeat in a generation of young people known more for their superficial love of hedonism and utter contempt for commitment rather than any kind of starry-eyed romanticism. Instead of avoiding the issue, Reid tackled it head-on. 'That’s exactly what this film is about!" she declares. 'It’s about someone who can’t tell their beloved how they feel, which is a very real situation for a lot of Australian people."

Central to the film’s emotional resonance is American Peter Dinklage, the little-person star of The Station Agent (2003) and familiar to Australian audiences as the drugged-out, gay lover of the recently-deceased patriarch in the hit comedy Death at a Funeral (2007). 'I came on very early (in the film’s development) and Peter Helliar was already talking to Peter Dinklage then", recalls Reid. 'Peter (Dinklage) had been an avid supporter of the script from the beginning and his support never wavered. We kept thinking 'The bubble has got to burst soon’ but it never did, he was always there." Reid remains a fan. 'He is such a wonderful actor and truly, a gentleman; we were just so blessed to have him."

And she doesn’t discount the romance of mainland Australia’s most southern capital and the role it played in the film. 'We didn’t set out to make Melbourne a character in the film," she says, 'but our DOP, Ellery Ryan, and I did set out to give the film a certain look. We wanted to bring a deeper shadow and warmth to the film and Melbourne works perfectly. It served us beautifully when we needed the autumnal, warmer colours."           

Presently directing episodes of the action series Rush ('After a year on a romantic comedy, I felt like smashing cars and blowing things up."), Reid is keen to see how Australian audiences respond to her first feature. She knows that the 'contemporary Australian romantic-comedy’ is an all but non-existent genre, but she is quietly confident. 'Maybe we are just not an overtly romantic culture. We are just not out there telling everyone how we feel every five minutes. But," she beams, as if piecing together the appeal of the film for the first time, 'you see, this film actually makes a virtue of that!"