Take one of television's most popular stars, add one of Hollywood's better actresses, toss in a completely unrealistic storyline, add a pinch of romance and a dash of humour, and what do you have? A romantic comedy very like "Return To Me", which offers a new twist on the usual guy-meets-girl story.
In "Return To Me", Bob Rueland (David Duchovny from "The X Files") is an architect, happily married to Liz (Joely Richardson), a successful zoologist. Returning from a black-tie dinner party one evening, Bob and Liz meet with a car accident, which leaves Liz dead. At the same time, Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver), a waitress from an Italian restaurant is in dire need of a heart transplant, and the decision is made to transplant Liz's heart into Grace's body. Grace recovers, Bob mourns his departed wife, neither of them aware of the link binding them.
Time passes, and Bob finds himself at Grace's Italian restaurant one day, being attended to by Grace. The two are immediately attracted to each other, with predictable results. Before long, they're contemplating a serious relationship, helped along by Grace's family and the nosy inhabitants of the Italian restaurant where she works. And when Grace finds that she's carrying Bob's wife's heart, she's faced with the decision of whether or not to risk telling him...
As you can see, the story isn't exactly representative of real life - the chances of something like this happening in reality are probably extremely low. However, it isn't meant to be - this is a romantic comedy, and so you can forgive the writers for taking a few liberties. The essence of any romantic comedy, and the key factor for its success, is the chemistry of its stars - and in "Return To Me", both Duchovny and Driver showcase a charming attraction that keeps your interest in spite of the corny storyline. The supporting cast of characters is also pretty good, although a little distracting at times.
If you're looking for a serious movie, or even one that's a little realistic, you probably won't like "Return To Me". But if the rain's making you feel romantic, or you're looking for a good first-date movie, this is the one to see this weekend!This article was first published on 17 Aug 2000.