A comedy straight from the heart.
"Fresh, funny and charming. Leonard Maltin
|A charming restaurant owner plays match-maker between his beautiful granddaughter and a widower with hilarious and heartwarming results. Special features: audio commentary by bonnie hunt and don lake, deleted scene featuring carroll o'connor and robert loggia, and what if i love you music video.|
"...an exceedingly pleasant, wistful romantic romp. Cody Clark, Mr. Showbiz
"A top cast, guided by actress Bonnie Hunt in her directing debut, mixes comedy and corn with savvy. Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Two thumbs up! Roger Ebert & The Movies
"A welcome return to the courtship, cuddling and sweet nothings of yesteryear. Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A charming romantic comedy about finding love in the most ironic--and unlikely--of places. Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) is mourning the tragic loss of his wife, who nobly agreed to donate her heart to a needy recipient. When he meets Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver), little does he realize that she's the recipient! Eventually, the truth comes out, and Bob must decide for himself which heart it is his heart wants to follow.
Return to Me - DVD Review
By: Robert Strohmeyer
filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 3/27/2009 5:36 PM
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....read the full review
Cast & Crew
Two bittersweet story lines intertwine to form the light and touchingly ironic romantic story of director Bonnie Hunt's RETURN TO ME. While architect Bob Rueland (a perfectly chivalrous David Duchovny) enjoys wonderful days with his zoologist wife, Elizabeth, having finally found the funding to build an addition to her zoo, a youthful but suffering waitress, Grace Briggs (a darling Minnie Driver), struggles with heart disease. One April evening, Bob and Elizabeth are in a terrible car accident. Elizabeth passes away in the hospital, and Grace, who has been waiting for a heart transplant, receives the donated organ. Therefore, when over a year later, Bob and Grace meet for the first time and fall in love, they have no idea that their hearts were matched once before.
RETURN TO ME is a moving tale that seems to touch on nearly every topic: from love and death to family and religion to raising kids and caring for gorillas (no joke), without taking anything too seriously. Carroll O'Connor plays Grace's grandfather--a jolly old guy with a chummy bunch of card-playing Italian friends. In addition, Bonnie Hunt and James Belushi play Grace's best friends, and give hilarious performances as the parents of young kids. This film is an excellent choice for the tender-hearted.
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...Hunt has brought off a neat balancing act; the movie is a shrewd mixture of salty and sanctimonius moments..."
Sight and Sound
"...[A] refreshingly zesty script..."
"...What gives the movie its gentle charm is not the melodramatic story, but the warmth of the performances..."
"...You'll feel like a valentine's been delivered straight into your living room..."
Reel Views 8 of 10
...has enough heart to satisfy those who crave a little substance, and enough light romance to appease those on the lookout for a great date movie... Hunt manages the tricky task of balancing drama, comedy, and romance, and, as a result, avoids unnecessary silliness... Return To Me manages to disarm with its charm and delight with its bite.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
Here's an old-fashioned love story so innocent, so naive, so sweet and sincere, that you must leave your cynicism at the door or choose another movie. Bonnie Hunt's "Return to Me" could have been made in 1955, starring Doris Day and James Stewart. It has been made in 2000, starring Minnie Driver and David Duchovny, and I am happy that it has...Duchovny stars as Bob, a Chicago architect married to Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), who works at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Scenes establishing their happiness are intercut with hospital scenes involving Grace (Driver), who will die of heart disease unless she receives a transplant. To the surprise of nobody in the audience, Elizabeth dies in a tragic accident, and Grace is given her heart...At the very moment when it starts beating in her chest, Bob, grieving at home, seems to sense it, as heartbeats on the soundtrack underline the segue. And a year later, Grace and Bob meet in the Old Town family-run restaurant where she works and lives. It is, for both of them, love at first sight...Watching the film, I became aware that it lacked the gimmicks of many recent romances. It believes in love and fate, stuff like that. Its innocence is crucial to the plot, because much depends on Bob not seeing the scar on Grace's chest while their courtship moves along. In today's sex-happy movies, the secret would have been revealed when they slept together on their second date, but "Return to Me" convincingly lets them move slowly toward intimacy, so that Grace's delayed nudity creates effective tension...No doubt this film will be disemboweled by cynics among the reviewers. It offers an easy target. It is almost an act of courage, the way it refuses to hedge its bets or cater to irony. It is what it is, without apology or compromise. It made me smile a lot. I have tried to describe it accurately, for the benefit of those who will like it and those who will not. You know who you are.
- Roger Ebert
ReelViews 8 of 10
Movies do not have to be art to be entertaining. Nowhere is this more evident than in an enchanting piece of fluff like Return to Me. Two parts romantic comedy and one part drama, Return to Me has enough heart to satisfy those who crave a little substance, and enough light romance to appease those on the lookout for a great date movie. And, thanks to a script whose jokes possess some zest and zing, the film avoids sliding down the slippery slope into half-baked melodrama. Granted, Return to Me doesn't break any new ground, but the ingredients are blended in such a way that the final concoction, although familiar, is nevertheless enjoyable...Much of the film's comedy - or at least the most obvious moments - come from a small group of supporting characters. They include Carroll O'Connor (TV's Archie Bunker from "All in the Family"), Robert Loggia, Hunt, and James Belushi. O'Connor plays Grace's very Irish grandfather and Loggia is the Italian chef in his kitchen. The banter between these two is priceless and contains some of the film's most clever dialogue (their argument about dead Irish singers versus dead Italian singers is priceless)...These days, an increasing number of romantic comedies feature teenagers, leaving a void for those who enjoy these kinds of stories with slightly older characters. Return to Me fills that breach, and does so with admirable restraint. There's enough emotion in the interaction of the characters that there's no need for a big, over-the-top finale or the inclusion of an old boyfriend or girlfriend to provide romantic complications. Watching Return to Me is not a trailblazing experience, nor is it intended to be, but Bonnie Hunt proves to be an expert tour guide through this familiar terrain. Despite sticking pretty much to the expected formula, Return to Me manages to disarm with its charm and delight with its bite.
- James Berardinelli