A romantic comedy vehicle for X-Files
star David Duchovny, Return to Me
costars Minnie Driver as Grace, an ailing waitress whose life is saved when she receives a heart transplant. Meanwhile, Duchovny's architect Bob is grieving over the death of his zoologist wife and sweetheart since childhood Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), killed in a car accident. A year on, he agrees to go out on a disastrous blind date redeemed by his encounter with the comely and witty Grace. Abetted by her redoubtable Irish Catholic grandfather (played by Carroll O'Connor), they hit it off and start dating. But when Grace accidentally discovers from whom she received the vital organ that saved her life the blossoming relationship is tested to its utmost.
Return to Me is not for the hardboiled cynic-it's a gentle, funny and very charming tragi-comedy. It's sweetly chaste, too, with Grace's self-consciousness about the chest scar from her operation precluding any steamy sex scenes. All this adds to its old-world charm, which is further exacerbated by O'Connor and his ageing restaurant staff's late-night card games, in which they discuss the merits of Sinatra and Dean Martin and generally function as a seven dwarves-type collective to Driver's Snow White. James Belushi also chimes in as the lovably slobbish hubby of Grace's best friend. Ultimately, however, the success of the film is down to the shy chemistry between Duchovny and Driver.
On the DVD: The feature itself is presented in 16:9 widescreen. Numerous extras include trailers, a deleted scene, a music video for the featured big band number "What If You Loved Me", and an audio commentary by writer/director Bonnie Hunt, in which she talks about the unpredictable joys of working with Sydney the Gorilla, whose on-screen performance outshines those of many of the humans. --David Stubbs
After his zoologist wife is killed in a car crash, Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) dedicates himself to building the gorilla enclosure which meant so much to her. He has no plans to fall in love again, and is surprised to find himself drawn to local waitress Grace (Minnie Driver). Romance blossoms, but their developing relationship is haunted by a shocking secret: Grace has recently recovered from a heart transplant operation in which she was given Bob's wife's heart.