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Return To Me (2000)
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Review Date: March 14, 2000
Director: Bonnie Hunt
Writer: Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake
Producers: Jennie Lew Tugend
Actors:
David Duchovny as Bob Rueland
Minnie Driver as Grace Briggs
Plot:
A happily married man becomes despondent after his wife dies in a car accident. After some time, the man decides to get back into the "dating" circuit, only to find himself falling for another woman, who may or may not have the transplanted heart of his dead wife.
Critique:
Overly dramatic, monotonous, lagging comedy (?) featuring a decent against-type performance by David Duchovny, a so-so showing by Minnie Driver (who managed not to make me hate her as much as usual in this role), and an interesting premise which ultimately travels straight down the path of utter predictability. The sad part about it all is that this movie seems to mean well deep down on the inside, but unfortunately for the viewer, there's just not enough of anything to get excited about on the outside. There are a couple of small laughs, but not much more. A few dramatic moments, but nothing that succeeds in truly grabbing hold of the ol' heart strings. Just a lot of grade "A" sap. There are also a couple of shots at romance, but once again, the target is high and the corresponding tosses are low. Not a horrible movie, but not a good one either. Perhaps if the large supporting cast had been better utilized, instead of the endless parade of dull conversations which we are forced to endure, the film might've enjoyed a success on some other peripheral level. The old men crew was especially annoying with their uninteresting card games, exaggerated accents and attempts at being cute and charming. All of which gave my eyes ample time to practice rolling around in their sockets.

Of course, I do not doubt that others out there might find some of their idle banter to be funny and interesting, but I personally did not find any of it amusing. Oh, an Irish/Italian restaurant...how clever. Yawn. And let's get Archie Bunker to pretend that he's the "Lucky Charms" leprechaun. Well, he ain't magically delicious! Boring. I don't know, maybe this is just a film for people with a higher maturity level than myself, or those who don't mind a simple story with a couple of easy jokes, a safe romance and a touch of faux-dramatics. Not sure. Maybe predictability and a safety net works for some people in movies. All I know is that James Belushi had a few good lines, David Alan Grier always cracks me up, and that's about all the movie had to offer me, comedy-wise. Add that to the fact that the film started off reaaaaal slow and dramatic, added barely anything original or charming or compelling to the tale, and ended off with just about the most obvious ending this side of the Pamela & Tommy Lee reconciliation, and that's about all she wrote, people. Duchovny fans may stomach it to see their man in a role atypical from his others, Minnie Driver fans may like it because of what she does which apparently is interesting to some people, and lovers of the standard no fun, no fantasy, no surprise romance "comedies" might also get their money's worth.

To anyone else, might I suggest renting the always-wonderful-to-watch romantic classic, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (10/10) for the umpteenth time. Trust me, that is one movie that does make you want to return year after year after year.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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