cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

 

Return to Me

Rated [PG], 116 minutes
Starring Minnie Driver and David Duchovny
Screenplay by Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake
Directed by Bonnie Hunt
website: www.mgm.com/rtm/

IN SHORT: Major wetworks from an incredibly well written, very funny script

I feel like I should be in one of the old Irish Spring soap commercials saying "but I like it too!..."

So here we have architectural engineer Bob Rueland (David Duchovny), a year beyond the death of his wife Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), working at a feverish pace to finish construction of a habitat for the great apes of Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Her dream. His best friend, zoo vet Charlie Johnson (David Alan Grier) is doing the best he can to get Bob back into the swing of things but Bob, like his dog Mel, misses Elizabeth mightily. On one of these blind date fix-ups leads Bob to a table at O'Reilly's Italian Restaurant. [insert rimshot here]

Waiting tables at O'Reilly's is the equally shy of the world Grace (Minnie Driver). Grace's backstory is just as mournful. She'd been bed-ridden since age 14 with a heart condition and, literally at death's door, received a life-saving heart transplant. A year ago. At the prodding of best friends Megan (Bonnie Hunt) and Megan's husband Joe (James Belushi), Grace is only beginning to think about getting out into the dating world. She's just as happy serving in her grandpa's restaurant, which brings us back to Bob and a meeting that comes and goes in the blink of an eye.

But Grace has this unusual feeling . . . Put two and two together. I'll wait . . .

Now that all the teenboys have finished cursing and left us, and the rest of you have figured out the what but not the how, we will point out that there are strict rules keeping donor and donee apart in these matters and that Grace and Bob have absolutely no idea of what's in store. Grace is incredibly self-conscious about the ten inch scar running down her chest. Marty is still pining for his lost love. It's a perfectly serious relationship with no emphasis on sex until close to the endgame, perfectly in keeping with the film soundtrack of songs by Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and its supporting cast of old geezers led by Grace's grandpa (Carroll O'Connor).

As a nod to a long ago television series, O'Connor and pals get stuck in a doorway. Nothing subtle about that gag but it's great background to an intelligent, funny and heart-wrenching script that gets where you know it's supposed to, but doesn't do what you expect it to. I know the script is also incredibly funny, 'cuz I cracked a couple of smiles while everyone else was rolling (this before, during and after the tears). I don't which of the writers (which includes actor/director Hunt) knew that those of us that are broken (see the History of Cranky for more) refer to ourselves that way -- no one with any sense of decorum or manners that isn't would do so -- and when Minnie Driver's character uses the phrase, well, I was thrown.

But not enough that I didn't laugh at the jokes. Nope. When the inevitable comes, and this story is inevitable from the get-go, let's just applaud the fact that it doesn't happen the way you'd guess and neither of the characters reacts the way you'd expect. What took it's time as a standard old fashioned romance all of a sudden shifts into wetworks mode. A femme friend of mine was gushing (my ex would have drowned in her own tears) and even ol' Cranky got misty.

Driver and Duchovny aren't all that funny, despite the commercials, but there is chemistry. The best gags come from the supporting cast, particularly from O'Connor, from a way out of shape (and proud of it) Belushi and his interplay with "wife" Hunt.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Return To Me, he would have paid...

$6.75

Substantial laughs on top of a superior chick flick. Something for everyone in this one.

Click to buy films by Bonnie Hunt
Click to buy films starring Minnie Driver
Click to buy films starring David Duchovny
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.