"Only You" (Movie 1994)

Stars:  Bonnie Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., and Joaquim de Almeida

Okay, so the movie is 20 years old. I told you, I review old movies and television shows.  Actually, I forgot about this one after all these years, until it was on TV this past weekend.  It’s a lighthearted, insanely unrealistic, sappy love story.  Every once in a while, they are good for an afternoon of mindless entertainment.

Damon Bradley.  Remember that name.  The entire movie is about the elusive Damon Bradley, and a woman named Faith.  You see, when Faith was a child, she played a game of Ouija Board (I think they’re still around today).  Remember those things?  Did you ever play?  Did the spirit ever move and spell out a name for you?  Well, when a little girl asks who she is destined to marry and the board answers, this is serious stuff!  Then to have it confirmed by a fortune teller a few years later, it’s got to be your destiny.  Right?

Fast forward to Faith as an adult, engaged and about to be married to a podiatrist, whose name is not Damon Bradley. Alas, though, she discovers that her about-to-be husband had a classmate named Damon Bradley, and he’s on his way to Italy for a holiday.

Like any insane woman, caught up in romantic nonsense, Faith takes her best friend, Beth, and sets off to Italy in search of Damon Bradley.  She absolutely must meet him and know if they are destined to be one.  They hop on a plane and travel to Venice, Rome, and down the Italian coast in search of the man.  However, in the meantime Faith meets another man, played by Robert Downey, Jr., who falls head over heels in love with her and believes she is his destiny.

The sub-plot of the movie revolves around Beth, played by Bonnie Hunt.  I love Bonnie Hunt!  I always have, and she is so endearing in this film.  She goes with Faith to Italy in her search for Damon, thinking all along she’s a bit crazy.  Her one liners are good chuckles, and they are all delivered with Bonnie’s talent for snark.  However, her character is dealing with her own heartache and suspicion that her husband, Larry, is having an affair.  Along the way, she meets the very dreamy and handsome Joaquim de Almeida, who shows an interest in the beautiful blonde American.

Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. are a handsome couple and twenty years younger, looking absolutely stunning together.  Marisa’s wardrobe in the movie is eye catching.  And Robert, well, dang, he is cute and his usual self early in his career.

The movie is a good lighthearted, fun romp, traipsing across Italy.  If nothing else, you can enjoy the movie filmed on location and get the flavor of the Italian lifestyle and landscape.  It’s a perfect location for love and romance.

Of course, the story is unrealistic, a bit on the crazy side, but worth the watch if you miss the old-time romantic comedies that we rarely see nowadays.  Interesting to read Roger Ebert’s take on the movie alluding to that fact back in 1994 that it was reminiscent of romantic comedies with Doris Day.  I suppose Doris Day is out of fashion, and so are movies like Only You, but just because something is not done anymore doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.” 

Frankly, I don’t think there are enough romantic comedies these days worth watching.  With the 4.5 rating on Amazon, it seems to be a hit with a lot of people filling a need for crazy love.

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