Return to Me

I happen to admire David Duchovny's work in The X Files. He is perfectly cast as Fox "Spooky" Mulder. However, his other cinematic efforts have been miserable failures. I didn't have high expectations for Return to Me, a romantic comedy in which he co-stars with Minnie Driver, but the film is one of the better ones I've seen this year.

The story is pretty straightforward: Bob Rueland (Duchovny) is married to Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), an organ donor. One night they are involved in a car crash where Elizabeth dies. On that day, Grace Biggs (Driver) receives a heart transplant which she needed to survive. Through a series of coincidences, Grace and Bob hook up. The rest should be obvious.

The movie is funny, particularly with regards to the supporting cast of four old men (one of them being Grace's protective grandfather) who run an Irish-Italian restaurant, and Grace's best friends Megan and Joe Dayton (Bonnie Hunt and James Belushi). At this restaurant they play poker, argue about who the best romantic singer is, and try to manage the life of Grace. Given the nature of the plot, I felt the movie should really have been titled Where the Heart Is (but I concede that that may have been in bad taste).

The film's initial setup detailing Elizabeth's death is a bit too long and could've been edited more judiciously. As I mentioned, the acting is excellent, even by Duchovny. Though the scene where he cries should have been left out: it's hard to cry convincingly and the only person who has done it well in the movies I've seen is Samuel L. Jackson. Barring that, Return to Me is a fun and well-made film. I highly recommend it.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||