Return to Me

"Good"

Return to Me Review


Let's cut to the chase; the Weekly World News could have given us a better story about a man and a woman united by a heart transplant. It's not for lack of talent, either, that this flick stumbles. If anything, Return to Me hosts almost as overqualified a cast as Brian De Palma's lame duck blockbuster, Mission to Mars. The real problem here seems to be lack of directorial focus. After a career of feature film supporting roles, television walk-ons and cartoon voiceovers, Bonnie Hunt somehow convinced MGM to let her sit in the folding chair. The result is a charming romantic comedy tragically bogged down by the uncomfortable avoidance of its central plot point.

The drama of this film is the elephant in the room that everyone pretends to ignore. Bob Rueland (David Duchovny--The X Files) is a successful Chicago architectural engineer who is emotionally crushed when his gorilla-training wife (a role apparently inspired by real-life Gorilla Foundation president Dr. Penny Patterson), Elizabeth (Joely Richardson--101 Dalmatians), dies in some unspecified accident that we never really see. I guess they thought it might bring us down. Fortunately, Elizabeth filled out her organ donor card, affording local waitress Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver--Good Will Hunting) a second chance to live.

The wacky bonus, of course, is that the uncanny Hand of Fate brings Grace and Bob together. From this point forward, the unrealized drama of Elizabeth's death is completely overshadowed by about ninety minutes of schticky banter in which Archie Bunker, er... Carrol O'Connor, runs through a non-stop routine of Sinatra references and boob-job jokes. And Bob and Grace fall in love.

The romance of this picture is fun and believable. Duchovny and Driver have a chemistry that's heartwarming and funny to watch. This movie would have gone a lot further if they'd either dropped the heart transplant all together or taken it more seriously. It's never really justified anyway and only winds up distracting us from the film's central relationship. Performances from Robert Loggia and Jim Belushi are endearing and enjoyable, and director Bonnie Hunt gives a strong performance as Grace's supportive friend, Megan. David Alan Grier could have made a valuable contribution in his rare dramatic role as Bob's comforting buddy, if the character's relevance hadn't been undercut by the removal of all drama from the film. Whoops!

Driver Returns to fine Italian dining.



Return to Me

Facts and Figures

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th April 2000

Distributed by: MGM Distribution

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Bob Rueland, as Grace Briggs, Carroll O'Connor as Marty O'Reilly, as Angelo Pardipillo, James Belushi as Joe Dayton, as Megan Dayton

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.