Daily Chick Flick: Return to Me  

I'm at a loss folks. Really. I've already typed and erased the opening paragraph to this post at least five times, and am still unsure of how best to approach it. The sad, inescapable fact of the matter is that there's no way around it. No big words or funny turn of phrase is going to save me from the truth this time, meaning my only course of action is to come clean.

I watched Return to Me last night, and I liked it. Which is a bit of an understatement, albeit a minor one. Somewhere between "liked" and "loved" perhaps.

Quick 100 character synopsis: David Duchovny’s wife dies, Minnie Driver gets her heart, and the two meet a year later without knowing who the other is.

The point here is that by all rights I shouldn't have liked this movie at all. It was painfully predictable, the characters were unbelievably nice, they play a song with the same title as the movie several times throughout, and it was DIRECTED BY BONNIE HUNT. Sweet scrapbooking Jesus, what's happening to me?

Let's take a moment to talk about David Duchovny. The man has no business playing normal people -- simply put, it doesn't work. Why is it that he's garnered the most praise for his roles in The X-Files, Red Shoe Diaries, Playing God, and Californication? Because in each one of those he played someone on the cusp of being completely fucked up past the point of redemption. It's that ability of his to portray the calm and collected crazy, the suave maniac-in-waiting, that has always held my attention and favor. Plus his personal life has had its share of disaster, so you know he's building these characters from someplace real.

It obviously wasn't Duchovny's nice guy role that won me over here, so maybe it was the supporting cast that sealed the deal on Return to Me. It's no secret that I'd love to have a snarky black friend like David Alan Grier or an ultra-supportive Irish grandfather like Caroll O'Connor. Hell, hanging out with Jim Belushi wouldn't even be all that bad if he promised not to take his shirt off so much.

Yet as much as I enjoyed the supporting cast, any attempt to blame my overall enjoyment on them would be nothing more than a further attempt at glossing over the reality I'm harshly aware of... Return to Me is just a sweet film. As in a heartfelt story that resonated with me for whatever reason; I felt incapable of not liking it. Something I know sounds like bullshit, but since I'm doing this whole honesty thing right now, let me share with you a dark secret. There are three movies out there that will make me cry every single time, without fail. They are:
  1. My Life - Michael Keaton is a father-to-be that learns he has precious little time before cancer takes his life, in all possibility before his child is even born. He sets out to make a video diary so that his future child will have a small glimpse of the kind of man their Dad was. My kids would be thrilled to know that their Dad becomes a weepy bitch at the thought of this movie.
  2. White Squall - Specifically the scene where the boat is going down and Jeff Bridges is looking at his wife through the porthole -- who is trapped below deck -- when they make eye contact and both realize she won't be making it out of there. Fuuuuuuck that.
  3. What Dreams May Come - Everyone is dying left and right in this film, then being reunited in the afterlife, then almost losing each other again, then fighting their way back. Let's just say that I always feel dehydrated after watching this one.
It wouldn't matter if I was in a room full of MMA fighters,;if one of them switched on any of the above movies I'd be screwed. Although I'd like to think that they'd shed a tear or two as well, just as I hope I'm not the only guy out there who liked Return to Me. Not that this is one of those movies that I cried at or anything. That was just allergies. No seriously. 4 1/2 pink tacos, and thank God I only have one more of these left to do.


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