Saturday, May 12, 2007

Friday Film-Night ~ Return To Me

This week, Ally Blake brings you the ever-popular, three hanky weepie…


If you’re not in tears at the twenty minute mark of this film, well then I just don’t know what I’m going to do with you.

Written and directed by the fantabulous Bonnie Hunt – I want to be her when I grow up if I don’t end up being Helen Mirren. She is sooooo smart, and funny, and dry and she has written a script that is so real, and natural, with entire scenes that do noting at all to propel the plot as they simply focus on the wonderful array of rich characters who carry this story.


Bob is happily married to Elizabeth who he has been with since he was 15 years old. She is badly hurt in a car accident.

Grace has had congenital heart conditions since she was a baby. When we first meet her she is in hospital awaiting a heart.

Elizabeth dies. Bob falls apart. And Grace gets a new heart and a new life. Fast forward a year and…


David Duchovny is adorable. Sweet. Handsome. Shy. Fun. Loving. And just fantastic as our gooooorgeous hero Bob. An untidy, popular architect.


Minnie Driver is a delight. Decked out in a sad wardrobe of mismatched florals she shines as a modern day, believable and sympathetic virginal heroine. Sassy when she needs to be, shy much of the rest of the time, and absolutely real.


Bob goes on a blind date at Grace’s family’s restaurant. In one of the greatest scenes in the film, in which Bob’s date proves to be beautifully horrible (she will only drink non-Swiss bottled water – long story), and Grace shows herself to be a little naughty (she empties said date’s bottle of Perrier and fills it with tap water – which Bob sees to his eternal delight).

Bob is enamoured with the waitress. Grace thinks him the dishiest guy she’s ever met. And they think they’ve met before. Remember, Grace has Bob’s wife’s heart. Oh heck, can this possibly lead anywhere but heartache?


Bob has a friend, Charlie, who used to work with his wife, who tries to get him to date, but the real gems are Grace’s extended family who not only add humour and levity, they also bring pathos, love, and another reason why Grace is who she is and Bob can’t help but fall for her.

Grace’s cousin’s family. Mum Bonnie Hunt, Dad Jim Belushi, and the what, five kids? They live a running gag of blaming one another for who taught the kids their latest swear word. Whole five minute blocks are dedicated to it – and it’s hilarious. Delightful. Real.

And then there’s Grace’s grandfather and his septuagenarian cronies who own ad run O’Reilly’s Italian restaurant. Yep, O’Reilly’s…Italian. Funny huh? Of the four of them three are Irish and only one Italian, giving them plenty to argue about – the best baseball players, the best singers. You could seriously watch just them for an hour and a half and not feel jipped. If only the romance wasn’t so very very brilliant.

The development is just lovely. Old-fashioned. Sweet. Warm and fuzzy stuff. As ouor two darling lovebirds fall for one another with absolutely no idea of the connection they already have.

Until the inevitable happens and our poor Grace discovers that she was the one who took his Elizabeth’s heart. I’ll leave the rest in the dark. Ready for you to discover. But this is truly a three hanky weepie. With heart – if you excuse the pun.

Okay, but I’ll give you one small hint towards the end. When Bob tells Grace’s grandfather how he feels:

‘I miss my wife,’ he says in that gorgeous deep husky voice. 'I’ll always miss her. But I ache for Grace.’

Warm and Fuzzy Rating – 9

Ally’s next Harlequin Romance, BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP, hits bookshelves in the UK and North America next month.

But it is available online already! Yep, right now! So head on over to eHarlequin to pick up a freshly minted, super-scented, fairy dust sprinkled hot off the presses copy today!

Check out an excerpt here...


  1. Totally agree with you Ally...this movie is on my Top Ten List. It's amazing, wonderful and I can watch it again, and again and again! And one of the best DH enjoys it, too. I know its because of the 'man' humor, especially the 'old cronies', but its great to be able to watch a movie together we both enjoy!

    Have you ever watched the DVD when Bonnie Hunt talks over the story giving you the inside scoop on the movie? It's great and makes me love and admire her talent all the more!

  2. Ok Ally, I haven't seen this one and I have to now. Cuz maybe it's PMS but your little quote at the end? Thanks a lot. *reaches for tissue*