Return to Me

  • Review Date: May 8, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

Common Sense Media says

An unbelievable premise, but sweet and romantic.
  • Review Date: May 8, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Sad death of character, issue of heart transplants.

Sex

Kissing.

Language

Brief mild language, including children using bad words.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A lot of social drinking, some smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the movie is rated PG, there are a few strong words, including some used by children, and some mild sexual references.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this love story, guy has girl (architect Bob -- David Duchovney -- married to beautiful Elizabeth -- zookeeper Joely Richardson). Then guy loses girl in a car accident, guy meets new girl named Grace (Minnie Driver) who doesn't want to tell him that she had a heart transplant, guy finds out that the heart came from his late wife, and everyone gets over it and gets on with living happily ever after. Grace lives with her grandfather (Carroll O'Connor), owner of an Irish-Italian restaurant that is home to a community so adorable and loving that they could be birds and cherubs perching on the finger of an animated Disney heroine. Her friend Megan (Bonnie Hunt) is living in happy domestic chaos with her husband (James Belushi) and four children. Bob's friend Charlie (David Alan Grier) is there to fix him up with Ms. Wrong, so that he can have a reason to go to Grace's grandfather's restaurant and leave behind the 21st century equivalent of a glass slipper – his cell phone.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

RETURN TO ME is a pleasant date movie, a romance that tries hard to transcend its gimmick and just about succeeds. While it's a very creaky premise, at least this isn't one of those movies that drags out the telling part and then just as she is about to spill the beans he finds out anyway and it takes another half hour to straighten it all out. And at least there is no maudlin "Chicken Soup for the Soul"-type stuff about how this is the gift his late wife brought to him or anything like that.

We know where it is all going from the first five minutes. So we can sit back and enjoy the ride, in the capable hands of director/co-star/co- scriptwriter Bonnie Hunt. Hunt, a terrific character actress lets the couple's friends and family add a lot of life and depth to the story. They give Bob and Grace more personality and interest, sort of character by association. And, this is a rare movie in which the couple does not go to bed together almost immediately, partly because of Grace's sensitivity about her scar, and possibly also because Bob needs to take things slowly, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how people decide how much of themselves to share, about how people cope with loss that seems devastatingly overwhelming, and about Grace's grandfather's comment that "It is the character that's the strongest that God gives the most challenges to." Families can also talk about how couples make decisions about the risks of physical intimacy as well as emotional. And families can also talk about the loving way the people in this movie care for each other and enjoy each other.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 7, 2000
DVD release date:October 31, 2000
Cast:Bonnie Hunt, David Duchovny, Minnie Driver
Director:Bonnie Hunt
Studio:MGM/UA
Genre:Romance
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language and thematic elements

This review of Return to Me was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old June 27, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Return To Me 101

Return To Me is a funny romance movie great for kids 11+. There is a scene in which a woman is show in the bath tub and there are a few other scenes where a man says a curse word and his child repeats it. It is hilarious, but may go over younger kids heads. ( if you fast-forward these scenes, 8+ ) One of my favorite family movies!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Adult Written byKeith April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

simple minded atheist will like it

Halfway into the movie, the Lord's name was used in vain for the 2nd time. It was used by a small child so I stopped the movie. Has hollywood lost their minds?
Adult Written byjs91206 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Better for Older kids

I think this movie is better suited for older kids 13+ mostly due to sexual references. A mention of not being a virgin before marriage by a character; a warning about not shaving you legs so you don't go to far on a FIRST date; and a comment about the girl not spending the night even though they had been dating a year - as if that were wrong. All fine for adults, but not great examples for the younger audiences. Lot's of swearing by kids/adults may also put some off. A very sad beginning may be upsetting to a sensitive kid (when the wife is killed in a accident). I was surprised bu the ON for 10+ rating.

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