RETURN TO MEReview by Dave Smith
I loved Minnie Driver before I ever saw her in a movie. Who could ever forget a name like "Minnie Driver?" It's a wonderful name for an actress. It doesn't quite evoke the associations that names for silent film stars did...Renee Adoree...Blanche Sweet...Bessie Love. And now Ms. Driver finds herself in a film with a plot as improbable as her name.
"Return to Me" has a plot full of coincidences and implausibilities. Wasn't it Alfred Hitchcock who said that implausibilities never bothered him? If you want to see some films really full of coincidences and implausibilities, take a look at any Hitchcock film. Therefore it stands to reason that this sort of thing should not have an effect on whether or not a film works. And, in the case of "Return to Me" it doesn't.
Bonnie Hunt, who wrote the script along with her sometimes comedy partner Don Lake, doesn't worry about this sort of thing. She is only interested in producing a good, old fashioned love story. She has helped herself out considerably with some strong casting. Driver drives the whole film. David Duchovny is good but wooden. But if you've seen "The X-Files" you already know that. Bonnie, as Driver's best friend and Jim Belushi as her husband are great with Belushi showing us what a very good actor can do with a small part. Unfortunately the same can't be said of Carroll O'Connor who goes overboard with his Irish accent and his attempt to be a "cute old grandpa." Robert Loggia is wasted as O'Connor's restaurant partner.
The real strength of the film is that we care about Driver and Duchovny and their romance. We can even tolerate the fact we know exactly how it's going to end. The fun is getting there.