2000 Romantic Comedy, rated PG, runs 1 hour, 56 minutes
Written by Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake
Directed by Bonnie Hunt (her first time out)
- Major cast
- David Duchovny
- Supporting cast
- Carroll O'Connor
David Alan Grier
Do you like movies that make you feel good about the world,
even while making you cry on occasion? This is such a movie.
With just a touch of romantic magic, this is a
chick flick to be sure.
In addition to romance, it has comedy, everybody's favorite sport
(bowling), and four old men singing Danny Boy (though that scene
was deleted). I'm not particularly close to my family, but even I
could appreciate the closeness and bon homie among the
extended family of Driver's character.
It also has a very pleasing cast. In addition to as many of
director Hunt's relatives as she could squeeze in, there is
Carroll O'Connor as Driver's grandfather and owner of
O'Reilly's Italian Restaurant, and Robert Loggia as "the best
Italian chef in Chicago" (and part of the family,
I think. To be honest, they're all so close that I'd have to
watch it again and take careful notes to be sure what all the
relationships are.) And, what made me buy my copy of the movie,
as it always does, James Belushi is there.
Not a large role, but satisfying for
any J.B. fan.
The DVD contains one deleted scene, a music video, and a commentary
track by Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake.
Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) and his wife
Elizabeth (Joely Richardson) are preparing to
attend a black-tie fund raiser at the Lincoln Park
Zoo in Chicago, IL. She is in charge of the ape
exhibit and has long dreamed of building a new
roomy outdoor enclosure for them.
Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver) is in a hospital bed,
looking sickly, attended by an older woman (Bonnie
We see them at the party, schmoozing
with the wealthy patrons, humoring a large donor
(played by Dick Cusack) who regales everyone he
can collar with the story of his large
Grace is cracking jokes about the heart she is
hoping to receive before it's too late, while
Megan tries to pick her words carefully so as not
to touch on the subject.
Bob is awkwardly running down a hospital hallway,
his shirt covered with blood, trying to keep up
with a gurney being wheeled to an operating room.
The dedicated phone on the wall of O'Reilly's
Italian restaurant rings. With everyone else
holding their breath, Marty O'Reilly (O'Connor)
answers it, demanding "You got it? You got it?", and
then immediately departs for the hospital.
Bob sits on the floor of Marty kisses his granddaughter as
his house, leaning against she is wheeled into the operatory,
the front door, and now that and begins the waiting in lounges,
his friend Charlie has left, cafes, and the chapel, accompanied
begins to cry and holds his now by Angelo, Megan and Bob and
dog, who is still waiting their children, and more extended
for Elizabeth to come through family. They wait, and pray, and
the door. wait, and wait.
A year later, and we see that Grace is waitressing at O'Reilly's, and
Bob's construction company is building the new exhibit for the zoo, in
addition to his other building jobs around the city. Each has
well-meaning friends or family trying to push them into starting new
social lives, as Bob hasn't been out since losing his wife, and Grace
is extremely self-conscious about the large scar down the middle of
her chest. She carries around a letter to her donor (to be delivered
through an anonymous remailing service for parties to a transplant)
that she keeps not mailing because she's afraid words aren't thanks
enough, but finally does.
Bob finally acquiesces, and Charlie tells him to meet him at O'Reilly's
restaurant Friday evening, where he'll be introduced to a really great
lady friend of Charlie's. The woman turns out to be more of a harridan,
and Bob joins their waitress -- surprise!
it's Grace -- in common
misery when she unveils her persona as the customer from Hell.
This presents opportunities aplenty for bonding
and humor. When Grace brings four glasses of water
to the table, Bob's "date" demands bottled water
-- "but not from Switzerland. I got sick on Swiss
water, d'ya remember?". While Grace is in the
kitchen, getting a bottle of water and pouring it
down the drain before refilling it from the tap,
Bob is off to the side taking a phone call, and
smiles at her and winks his agreement. Back at the
table, the lady complains "Isn't there anything
that's not cooked in oil here", and Grace
responds, "Yes, some things we boil in Swiss
Bob and Grace begin dating, and Bob is welcomed into the family
at O'Reilly's. After a few dates, Grace wants to tell Bob that
she's had the transplant, but can't bring herself to do so. One
evening, at Bob's house, she's definitely decided tonight is the
night. Then, with Bob in another room, she sees Elizabeth's newspaper
obituary, and it dawns on her that Elizabeth died the same day she
received her new heart. Then, under the newspaper, she sees the letter
that she wrote. She runs from the house, leaving a bewildered Bob with
an off-the-cuff lie, and ends up crying at Megan's house and telling
her the impossible truth.
The next day, composure restored, she is able to tell Bob, and adds
that she is going away so as not to remind him of Elizabeth. (She had
long dreamed of going to Italy.) Then it's Bob's turn to leave and try
to come to grips with the situation. Grace leaves for Italy the next
day without seeing Bob again, but over the next few days Bob decides
to go after her, and there is a happy reunion in Italy. Finally, we
see Bob, Grace, and the whole gang at the dedication of the zoo's new