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Return to Me
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Movie Details

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Directed By
Bonnie Hunt

Written By:
Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake

David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, James Belushi, Bonnie Hunt, Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia, David Alan Grier, Joely Richardson, Eddie Jones, Marianne Muellerleile, William Bronder

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Return to Me (2000)
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Movie Review by Zara
January 24th, 2007

Hairy legs are the link to reality

I never really fancied myself a fan of the standard "chick flicks." Too many wallow in sentimentality, leaving you with the equivalent of a saccharine induced coma. I've never been into happy endings, preferring to see a movie play out more like real life, resplendent with unrequited love and agonizing heartbreak. Give me a depressing love story any day. Yet, I cannot deny the estrogen that pumps through my veins, and when a particularly witty or somewhat unique "chick flick" comes along, I have been known to shed a tear or two. RETURN TO ME is one of those movies that moves my cynical heart.

The story begins by setting up the love between an architect (Duchovny) and his zoologist wife, and while the scenes shared between them are brief, there is a genuine sense of the deep love that the two characters share. After a tragic car accident that kills the wife, the story transitions into the life of Driver's character, a young woman who has struggled with heart disease. She receives the wife's heart in a transplant, and a year later is thriving with her new organ. When the architect goes on a blind date at the restaurant where she works, there is an instant connection. She is uncertain how to disclose her prior condition, and after developing a romance, the incidentals are revealed.

There are moments in this movie that moved me to tears, mainly those featuring the dog who pines for his deceased mistress. It begs to argue that the spirit of a person can live on, although I don't know how much faith I would put into the idea that the spirit is attached to an internal organ. Still, the dialogue with the young woman's grandfather (Carroll O'Connor) and his buddies is a wealth of humor, as are the scenes with Hunt and Jim Belushi, friends of the young woman. I found this movie in the drama section of my local video store, and while it holds these themes, it doesn't dwell on them. This is a love story that recognizes the sappy times and offsets them with easy laughs. And while the story centers around the one in Driver's character's chest, it is the natural comedic element that is the movie's true heart.

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