Return To Me
** GM
Starring: David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Bonnie Hunt, James Belushi, David Alan Grier, Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia, Joely Richardson


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Bonnie Hunt is one of the smartest and funniest famous women I've seen.... from what I've seen of her. Apparently, she's actually been named the 'best talk show guest in America' by Entertainment Weekly (not that THAT endorsement really means anything), and she's quick as a whip and genuinely funny. That's why I'm a little surprised that her directorial debut is so schmaltzy.

This almost fits the stereotypical definition of 'chick flick.' Bob (David Duchovny) is an architect happily married to Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), a zoo gal who works with apes and crusades for better habitats for them. She dies in a car wreck, shattering Bob, but her heart lives on in transplant recipient Grace (Minnie Driver), an aspiring artist who works as a waitress in her grandfather's (Carroll O'Connor) Irish-Italian restaurant. The fates conspire with destiny to bring these two together... and if there's any doubt that they won't end up together, get those french fries outta yer nose, Cletus, the corn needs schuckin'.

What makes this movie bearable is follows - Minnie Driver is easy on the eyes and I'm not sure which is cooler - her real accent or her affected American accent. Secondly - old poker-playing bastards like O'Connor and Robert Loggia. Old poker-playing bastards should be in every movie. Even Howards End. Thirdly - Bonnie Hunt and Jim Belushi as the married and bickering support system for Grace. Basically, the supporting characters are enough of a distraction from the 'magically delicious' love story that you don't always feel the need to vomit into your popcorn.

I still can't quite decide if David Duchovny is always wryly understated, or if he just sucks. But I heard enough people in the audience whispering "He's so handsome" that I don't think it matters much. Either way, I'm guessing he doesn't have much in the way of range. To his credit, however, I didn't feel the urge to shout "What are you wasting time here for? The truth is out there! Go find it! You've got important things to do!" Maybe it was just the dorky haircut that did it.

Someone please give David Alan Grier a role he can really get into. He deserves better than 'the friend.'

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