Return to Me

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Return to Me
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bonnie Hunt
Produced by Jennie Lew Tugend
Screenplay by Bonnie Hunt
Don Lake
Story by Bonnie Hunt
Don Lake
Andrew Stern
Samantha Goodman
Starring David Duchovny
Minnie Driver
Carroll O'Connor
Robert Loggia
David Alan Grier
Bonnie Hunt
James Belushi
Joely Richardson
Music by Danny DiMinno
Carmen Lombardo
Nicholas Pike
Cinematography László Kovács
Edited by Garth Craven
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • April 7, 2000 (2000-04-07)
Running time
115 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million USD (estimated)
Box office $36,609,995

Return to Me is a 2000 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Bonnie Hunt and starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. It was filmed in Chicago in 1999, and released in April 2000. This was Carroll O'Connor's final film before his death the following year.


Bob and Elizabeth Rueland (David Duchovny and Joely Richardson) both work — Bob as an architect, Elizabeth as a zoologist — at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Elizabeth is killed in a car accident, and her heart is transplanted to Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver), who has suffered from heart disease since the age of 14 and is near death. The surgery is successful and Grace, an artist, is able to live a normal life for the first time. She plans to make her first airplane trip to Italy to paint, and her best friend Megan Dayton (Bonnie Hunt) encourages her to begin dating, although Grace is self-conscious about the long surgery scar on her chest.

A year later, Bob remains depressed but recognizes that he must resume his life, helped in part by an anonymous letter from Grace through the hospital thanking him for his wife's heart. His friend, Charlie (David Allen Grier), organizes a blind date for him at a restaurant. Bob finds he is more interested in the waitress — Grace, who is also the granddaughter of the restaurant's owner, Marty O'Reilly (Carroll O'Connor). Bob and Grace begin to date; although they become close, Grace avoids telling Bob about her medical history.

Just before Grace tells Bob about her transplant, she finds her letter in his house. Horrified by the discovery, Grace flees and tells Megan, who later explains the situation to her husband in six monosyllables: "Grace has Bob's dead wife's heart!"

When Grace meets Bob again, she tells him the truth. He is stunned and leaves her. Grace sadly goes to Europe alone, but Bob realizes that he needs to go after her, and the two reunite in Italy.


Box office[edit]

The film opened at number four at the North American box office making $7.8 million USD in its opening weekend, behind The Road to El Dorado, Erin Brockovich and Rules of Engagement, which opened at the top spot.[1] It would make a total of $32,662,299 USD in its entire box office run. [2]

Production notes[edit]

  • This film gets its title from the 1957 Dean Martin recording of the same name (the song was composed by Carmen Lombardo and Danny DiMinno). The voices of the female background singers were removed electronically and a jazzier accompaniment was added for the film version.[3]
  • This was the last film for both Carroll O'Connor[4] and Dick Cusack.[5]
  • Features Hunt's frequent acting collaborators: Duchovny, Grier, Don Lake, Marianne Muellerleile, Holly Wortell, and Hunt herself, all of whom would be regulars or recurring guests on Life with Bonnie.[6]
  • Many of the restaurant scenes in the movie were filmed at Twin Anchors, in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood; its plaque with two anchors was retained for filming and is visible on the wall. The hospital scenes were filmed in Michael Reese Hospital[citation needed] and feature Hunt's brother, Dr. Kevin Hunt, and his transplant team as themselves.[3]
  • Features the music of the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra, a swing band still playing every Thursday at the historic Green Mill Lounge in Chicago.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]