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Return to Me

By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

If you're into maudlin romance, stretched out by dopey family-sitcom humor, complete with champion button-pushing essentials like dogs and kids, and peppered liberally with geezer-icon vocals ranging from Dean Martin to The Voice, then here's the film for you. Return to Me, co-written and directed by everyone's favorite wry supporting player, Bonnie Hunt, can be either a painful or buoyant experience, depending on how desperate you are for a few manipulated laughs and tears. David Duchovny (looking far geekier than he does on The X-Files) is Bob, an architect/contractor who has a great wife (Joely Richardson), a precious dog, and swell life, which all caves in when his wife is killed in an accident. Cut to blue-lipped, suffering, but ever-witty Grace (Minnie Driver, doing earnest American), who's waiting for a heart transplant. You can guess what happens from there. Hunt plays her usual third wheel, but is the freshest thing going, as Duchovny and Driver grapple with their silly roles. Even worse is the drawn-out attention devoted to Grace's cloying Irish grandpa (Carroll O'Connor, playing as if he were Barry Fitzgerald) and his card-playing senior cronies. Return this one to sender.

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