Return to Me
|Return to Me|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bonnie Hunt|
|Produced by||Jennie Lew Tugend|
|Screenplay by||Bonnie Hunt
|Story by||Bonnie Hunt
David Alan Grier
|Music by||Danny DiMinno
|Edited by||Garth Craven|
|Running time||115 minutes|
|Budget||$24 million USD (estimated)|
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 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. This movie includes one of the most romantic lines when David Duchovny states, "I miss Elizabeth. I will always miss her. But.... I ache.. for Grace.."
- David Duchovny as Bob Rueland
- Minnie Driver as Grace Briggs
- Carroll O'Connor as Marty O'Reilly
- Robert Loggia as Angelo Pardipillo
- Bonnie Hunt as Megan Dayton
- David Alan Grier as Charlie Johnson
- Joely Richardson as Elizabeth Rueland
- Eddie Jones as Emmett McFadden
- James Belushi as Joe Dayton
- William Bronder as Wally Jatczak
- Marianne Muellerleile as Sophie
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. It would make a total of $32,662,299 USD in its entire box office run. 
- 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.
- This was the last film for both Carroll O'Connor and Dick Cusack.
- 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.
- 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 and feature Hunt's brother, Dr. Kevin Hunt, and his transplant team as themselves.
- 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.
- Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa, a 2004 Bollywood movie with a very similar storyline.
- "The Numbers - US Movie Box Office Chart Weekend of April 7, 2000"
- "Return to Me (2000) - Movie Details - Yahoo! Movies"
- Director Bonnie Hunt's commentary on Return to Me DVD
- "IMDB - Carroll O'Connor"
- "IMDB - Dick Cusack"
- "IMDB - Life with Bonnie"
- "Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra - Bio"