- Marisa Tomei as Faith Corvatch
- Robert Downey Jr. as Peter
- Bonnie Hunt as Kate Corvatch
- Joaquim de Almeida as Giovanni
- Billy Zane as the False Damon Bradley
An effervescent and good-hearted romantic comedy that takes place largely in beautiful Italy, Only You makes for a divinely experience, watching as destiny and fate unravel in fun ways of the loving kind.
In flashback, we are introduced to Faith Corvatch, a young girl who is playing around with a Ouija board with her brother Larry. She asks who her soul mate will be and strangely enough, the board spells out the name Damon Bradley. Her belief that this person will be her true love is given greater anticipation and growing power by a trip to the carnival where a fortune-teller informs her of the name she got from the board. This causes Faith to become all dreamy about the soul mate she hopes to meet in the future. Cut to present day and Faith is now a teacher, who still believes in fate but hasn’t found any clue about the signs from her childhood. At the current minute, she is engaged to podiatrist Dwayne, who is often more busy with work than her . Out of the blue, Faith receives a phone call from the alleged Damon Bradley who is in Italy. Throwing caution to the wind as her destiny could finally come into fruition, she abandons plans of her wedding and takes a plane to Italy. Joining her is Kate, her best friend and sister-in-law, who is currently going through the motions of her marriage to Faith’s brother and considering what to do. Kate is reluctant to come along as she is the more pragmatic one, but Faith wins her over and the two head off on a journey into the unknown. While searching for the alleged man of her dreams, Faith encounters Peter Wright, a witty shoe salesman who appropriately enough meets Faith when she loses one of her stilettos. Hearing her mention the name of her beloved, he pretends to be Damon Bradley as he is immediately love struck by the kooky girl he sees. Though when it comes out that he isn’t Bradley, Faith is annoyed and begins to question the prophecy. The subsequent events lead to consequences that she never saw coming as she attempts to deny growing attraction to Peter. Can Faith make sense of the mystical signs or actually open her eyes to the possibility of Peter as a match?
Norman Jewison directs with an ease and light touch, which makes Only You pleasing to the eye and heart. At times, it may seem like he is riffing on the success of his previous romantic venture of Moonstruck, but his graceful and fun hold on events has a marked difference and more of a mystical tone than the aforementioned film to set them apart, but with both still being wonderful flicks. The best way to summarise Only You is to say that it is an old-fashioned romantic comedy in a contemporary setting, with a few surprises. Cynics will no doubt groan at something like this, but it is supposed to be something of a fairy tale so the leap of faith and magic are to be expected and to be honest, they are difficult to resist once they get a grip on you. Only You isn’t the sort of film that requires a real depth of thought to it as it is light and frothy, though it has moments of bittersweet emotion that help bring substance to the fairy tale side of it. I’m sure everyone has a bit of romance within them that they can see in this film. I mean, you have Italy looking suitably sublime and glowing with magic that is a classy touch(as lensed by the great Sven Nykvist). And there is a genuine unpredictability to Only You, as the wild goose chase takes in numerous comic events and switches as the search for Damon Bradley doesn’t go in the way Faith expected. If you don’t get a laugh or chuckle out of his movie, you really have no feeling of humour as Only You is delightfully written with spirited glee. A gliding and archaic score from Rachel Portman fits the bill of being lusciously composed and amusingly romantic in the tradition of Old Hollywood love stories.
Marisa Tomei exudes a doe-eyed and earnest appeal, that is as playful as a pixie. The character that she plays with her flighty and offbeat qualities could have become an annoyance quickly in the hands of a lesser actress, but not to worry as Tomei is a gifted girl who makes Faith’s eccentricities and actions warm and winning from the very start. And you can’t talk about Tomei in this film without mentioning how adorably sweet and innocent she is, which suits Only You down to the ground. Robert Downey Jr. has a good time as the man who isn’t the one supposedly destined for Faith, but willing to do what it takes to win her heart. Watching as his puppy dog eyes and sleight of hand antics attempt to win her over, plus Downey Jr. has a real physical sense of comedy to him like particularly in his priceless facial expressions. Bonnie Hunt is another standout performer in this film, lighting up the screen as the downtrodden and realistic woman, who finds that a certain suave gentleman takes an interest in her. Hunt has a real way with droll one liners that register many laughs while backing things up with a sensitive showing of uncertainty within the character. Joaquim de Almeida works well with the part of the businessman intent on wooing Kate, and though the part doesn’t call for any great shakes on the acting front, he brings more to it than others could have. Billy Zane is on hand to provide another twist in the story in a very amusing part.
harks back to the romance and comedy of old with a lively confection of a film bound to make you laugh and swoon.