Back to You and Me (2005)
A Fairytale Reunion
"Back to You and Me" is a grade A Hallmark romantic drama, the sort where realism isn't a concern and where the feel good romantic feeling it delivers takes precedence. And it certainly delivers what it promises to because whilst this is one predictable movie you will warm to the characters, their quirks, their relationships and by the time it ends you will be charmed by this simple romantic fairytale. As such for those who have an aversion to feel good romantic dramas, especially those of the TV movie variety I would suggest stay well clear because if you're not in the mood for plenty of nice then you are going to feel plenty of hate.
When one of her patients passes away Dr. Syd Ludwick (Lisa Hartman) decides she needs a break from hospital and her sort of boyfriend Tom (Ken Land) and decides to return to her hometown of Bloomfield for a high school reunion. But returning home stirs up memories and bitterness as things between Syd and he mother Helen (Rue McClanahan - Generation Gap) have not been good since her father passed away. But maybe returning home will bring some joy as her one true love Gus (Dale Midkiff - Torn Apart) still lives there with his son Jake (Blake Woodruff).
Now it has to be said that "Back to You and Me" is one of the most predictable TV movies I have come across and I have watched a few. From the minute Syd returns to Bloomfield everything which happens is seriously signposted. There is the strained relationship which Syd has with her mother ever since her father died, there is Syd's first love of her life Gus who lives in town with his son Jake who just happens to be sick and there is Connie who has a thing for Gus. You know by the end of the movie Syd and her mother will have sorted their differences, Syd will find herself back in love with Gus whilst Connie tries to mark her territory with him and of course being a doctor Syd will help Gus's son Jake. It is no spoiler for me to have told you any of this because it is all very obvious and very telegraphed.
But being obvious isn't a problem because it means you can just sit back and be entertained by the charming drama. You can be charmed by the fun characters who live in Bloomfield such as Ed who whilst at school was the trouble maker but now is a Church minister and a bit of a match maker. There is the subtle feelings between Syd and Gus which still rumble along played out through little glances and sweet moments such as when Gus drives Syd up to their old secret place by the lake. And whilst there are a couple of moments of minor drama, and I do mean minor, they end up adding to the charm and feel good feeling. Yes it is all unrealistic but it is so pleasant and heart warming that you don't care.
And the reason why you don't care is because of the brilliant casting not just of the central characters but also the supporting ones. Barbara Niven, Larry Manetti, Joel McCrary, Don Harvey and Rue McClanahan all add a little bit of small town humour to proceedings which you know will make you smile when ever they are in a scene. And then there is Lisa Hartman and Dale Midkiff as Syd and Gus who have this really beautiful vibe going on, not so much a spark of romance, but this gentle emotion which presents itself through a smile when they see each other or the fact they can't take their eyes off of each other.
What this all boils down to is that "Back to You and Me" sets out to be a simple, charming, feel good romantic drama and it achieves everything it sets out to do. Yes it is not the most realistic of movies and those not in the mood for something very small town fairytale like will pour scorn on it but for those looking for a bit of pleasant afternoon romantic entertainment it is perfect.
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