Saturday, April 15, 2006

Return to Me

2000, US, directed by Bonnie Hunt

Since the average romantic comedy is chock-full of coincidence and contrivance, it's critical that two things go right: one, make the lead couple appealing, and two, throw in some entertaining supporting characters. Return to Me does both, and the result is a generally charming film, which does a half-decent job of dealing with the more morbid aspects of its initial set-up. Building designer Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) is devastated when his zoologist wife is killed in a traffic accident. It's not until he meets Grace (Minnie Driver) that he begins to take an interest in life again, but Grace just happens to be enjoying her own new lease on life since she received a new heart from Bob's wife. There's no denying the hokey premise, but the performers are so enjoyable to watch that it really doesn't matter. Duchovny and Driver are perfectly serviceable in the lead roles, and the rest of the cast is tremendous. Usually there are two or three key supporting acts, but here there's an entire Greek chorus, with the grumpy old men (including Grace's grandad, played by Carroll O'Connor) especially amusing.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States