Time to update my Top Ten Romantic Comedies list again...
Written: Dec 10, 2006
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Well written, well acted, great dialogue, touching story...
Cons:... perhaps the ending does feel just a little rushed...
The Bottom Line: If you like romantic comedies you'll love this - in fact, even if you don't like romcoms, you might just still enjoy this one.
Return to Me is a lovely romantic comedy starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. Unfortunately it is also a very difficult film to review without giving away major spoilers. The problem is that one of the main aspects of the plot really cant be mentioned because it make whats going to happen in the film far to obvious. (Repeated viewings arent really affected by knowing the plot, but your first viewing might be.) Therefore I am going to keep plot details to a bare minimum.
Architect Bob Rueland is, after a long absence from the social scene, persuaded to go on a blind date by his good friend Charlie, who thinks hes doing him a favour. The blind date turns out to be a complete disaster, but Bob takes a shine to the waitress, Grace, who seems to like him just as much. She has also been out of commission socially for quite some time, though for a completely different reason. As Bob and Grace begin a relationship, however, they come to realise that they share something amazing although this something that may make it impossible for them to be together.
On the periphery of all the goings on in this movie are some terrific characters Charlie (David Alan Grier) is a vet and Bobs best friend, and seems to be constantly surrounded by beautiful women; Graces grandfather Marty and restaurant owner (Carroll OConnor in his last ever film role), Martys good friend and restaurant Chef Angelo (Robert Loggia), Graces pragmatic friend Megan (Bonnie Hunt) and her husband Joe (James Belushi) and, before this sentence reaches a truly idiotic length, a few others. There are great performances all-round, with some of the best comedic moments coming from the nightly get together of Marty, Angelo, and two other friends to play cards, argue who was the best singer / baseball player etc, and whether Italians or Irish are better. (Theirs is a rare phenomena: an Irish-Italian restaurant.) There is even more humour from these scenes when Bob comes into their sphere of influence and begins dating Grace, and also a sideline love story which is quite sweet. Some of the dialogue was priceless.
Return to Me is one of those films that you cant take your attention from for a moment, because so many of the best pieces of comedy are happening in the background. Joe and Megans chaotic family life is quite funny (particularly when Joe tries to arrange a blind date for Grace), and their relationship as a married couple of well portrayed. The main storyline, which I cant go into in much detail at all, is very well done and tugs at the heartstrings because it deals with a very sensitive and emotional subject. It does this extremely well and the film sways from comedy to tragedy and back again effortlessly. This film was directed by Bonnie Hunt who not only acted in it as well but also helped write the story and screenplay. From this evidence its a shame that she hasnt directed any further feature films, though maybe that will be something she does in the future.
Its not all about the supporting cast, of course Duchovny and Driver are a very likeable lead couple of act very well. Critically, they do both the emotional and comedy scenes perfectly. The only thing I can possibly criticise about this film is that the ending seemed a little rushed. But thats only if Im actually trying to find fault with it. At 5 minutes shy of 2 hours it probably didnt want to get too much longer though. Some scenes are a bit predictable but I don't see how that can have been avoided anyway.
Overall this is a very sweet and funny romantic comedy that should be enjoyable enough to people who dont particularly like the genre. It was funny, clever, genuinely emotional, and had a great cast who were on top of their game that day. What more could you want?
(Rated PG for language and thematic elements.)
Megan Dayton: "What do you expect most from a relationship? A: Companionship. B: Sex. C: Respect." I'd have to go with B: Sex. But let's mark "C" so we get a higher score...
Bob Rueland: Would you go out with me?
Grace Briggs: Yes?
Bob Rueland: Is that a question?
Grace Briggs: No, it's a yes. Yes.
Bob Rueland: Tomorrow night?
Grace Briggs: Yes.
Bob Rueland: Eight o'clock?
Grace Briggs: Yes.
Bob Rueland: Pick you up here?
Grace Briggs: Yes.
Bob Rueland: My, you're a very difficult woman.
Grace Briggs: Wow, this is incredible. We can see all this because we're standing on something you built.
Bob Rueland: I had help.
Marty: This guy you're talking about, he can't sing at all.
Angelo: He can't sing? Then why has he got such a big band?
Wally Jatczak: To drown him out!
Marty: It's the character that's the strongest that God gives the most challenges to. Now you can take that as a compliment.
Joe Dayton: So, Charlie, what do you do?
Charlie Johnson: I'm a vet.
Joe Dayton: Oh.
[after a pause]
Joe Dayton: I didn't go to 'Nam.
Bonnie Hunt was in Cheaper by the Dozen, voiced a character in Cars, was in Random Hearts (but I wont hold that against here!), and had a small role in Dave
I liked this so much that Ive had to make space for it in my Top Ten Romantic Comedies
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