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MGM Studios DVD presents

Return to Me (2000)

Megan: I'm just saying, for safety, don't shave your legs, because then you definitely won't let it go too far.
Grace: Megan, it's a first date.
Megan: I married a first date. I'm sure you plan on being levelheaded, but once you're in the moment, the male brain seems, I don't know, everything they say suddenly seems brilliant. Hairy legs are your only link to reality.
Grace: You should needlepoint that on a pillow.- Bonnie Hunt and Minnie Driver

Stars: David Duchovny, Minnie Driver
Other Stars: Bonnie Hunt, James Belushi, Robert Loggia, Caroll O'Connor, David Alan Grier, Joely Richardson
Director: Bonnie Hunt

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: PG for (Language and Thematic Elements)
Run Time: 01h:55m:47s
Release Date: 2000-10-31
Genre: romantic comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B+B-C+ B-


DVD Review

Return To Me is the type of film that people say isn't made often enough these days. It is so unabashedly romantic that it takes pleasure in wearing its heart on its sleeve—and wears it well. The acting, writing and direction make this one of the more entertaining romantic comedies to come along in recent months.

As the film opens, a married couple, Bob and Liz Rueland (Duchovny and Richardson) are attending a fund-raiser for the Lincoln Park Zoo, where Liz works. Meanwhile, a young woman named Grace (Driver) is lying in a hospital bed, awaiting a heart transplant. In one fateful moment everything changes for each of the three. Grace's life is saved when Liz is killed in a car accident, and Bob's falls down around him in the months that follow. It is roughly a year in the future when Grace and Bob cross paths. While on a date at an Irish/Italian (it will make sense when you watch the movie), Bob meets Grace and is immediately taken with her. The two begin a relationship that will help them rebuild their lives, without either knowing that Grace's heart is all-too-familiar with Bob.

Nothing happens in Return To Me that is overly original, and it is so easy going that you just kind of ride along with it. It is a film that seems just as much at home in the 1950s as it does here in the new millenium. And for those who live in and around Chicago you will have fun spotting many of the locations it used; the restaurant is actually the fantastic Twin Anchor restaurant.

Return To Me is actress/writer Bonnie Hunt's first foray into directing and she handles it better than most season comedy directors. There isn't a lot that Hunt can do wrong with this since the script and acting carry the film, but she still keeps us interested. Cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs is also worthy of a mention as he paints my favorite city beautifully.

It is hard to refer to actor David Duchovny without mentioning his hit television show The X-Files. Here, he sheds his small screen persona for his role as Bob Rueland. Duchovny must go through many emotions as the film goes along and he handles them well. His scenes with Driver work well, as do his scenes with the older group from the restaurant. Driver is perfect as Grace; she and Duchovny work very well together. Bonnie Hunt and Jim Belushi have smaller roles as Grace's friends and it is not a surprise to find Hunt with some of the best lines from the film. The real scene-stealers are actors Carroll O'Connor and Robert Loggia as Grace's family and support. While O'Connor lays on his Irish accent a bit too thick at times he still does a terrific job.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: This 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer for Return To me is so hit and miss that I am having trouble deciding on a grade. On one hand, the print used has great color and detail, but there is a lot of shimmer and on more than one occasion there is some slight edge enhancement. Black levels are done well, and scenes in Rome towards the end look beautiful. When considering that this film is less than six months old, it is hard to believe that this transfer can't be any better.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Aside from a few moments of booming music in the surrounds this is a relatively tame Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Dialogue is mixed a bit too low at the start of the film but by the second half it seems to have corrected itself. Bass response is for the most part good; the left and right have a nice balance. This isn't a bad mix, but it could be a lot better.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+ 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 32 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French and Spanish with remote access
1 Deleted Scenes
Production Notes
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Bonnie Hunt and writer Don Lake
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. What if I Loved You music video
Extras Review: The highlight of the added bonus material is a very funny and interesting commentary track by director Bonnie Hunt and writer Don Lake. The track starts off well and only gets better by the end. I have always been a big fan of Ms. Hunt and this track reaffirms my faith that she is not only well-spoken, but also very, very funny. One deleted scene featuring O'Connor is available, as is a music video. Strangely there is not a trailer to be found.

Extras Grade: B-

Final Comments

Return to Me is a good film. In this age when bigger explosions seem to translate to a bigger box office, it is nice to find a film that can work without any special effects. The performances and writing make the it worth a look, but if you are a fan of romance movies then Return To Me is perfect for you.

Kevin Clemons 2000-10-25