If Only (2004) Poster


User Reviews

Add a Review
133 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
A beautiful and romantic film about love.
factorsunknown25 October 2004
I saw a screening of this several months ago and have been patiently waiting for news about when it was going to be getting released because it was one of the most romantic films I've seen in a long time. The movie tells the story of Sam (Jennifer Love Hewitt) a young American musician living in London with her British boyfriend Ian (Paul Nicholls). We learn a little bit about the couple in the first 1/3 of the film, and how Ian may be too involved in his work to really pay attention to what is going on in Sam's life, which leads to the two having an argument right before Sam is involved in an auto accident which leaves her boyfriend in pieces... until he is given a second chance to relive the day. Essentially the film is showing the importance of not taking for granted every second you have in a relationship because you never know when it could be taken away from you, and how all of your actions have tremendous meaning in yours and your loved ones lives. The story is very involving and it has a really emotional ending which makes the impact of the whole setup that much stronger. Jennifer Love Hewitt is the big name here, and she gives a good performance. She's much more subdued than I've seen her in previous films and it helps bring her natural charm to the forefront. Paul Nicholls is an unknown to most Americans, but he is someone I do know from his 'Eastenders' days, as my ex-girlfriend watched that British soap on PBS loyally, and I must say he was very impressive. Very charismatic and genuine leading man material. I'm sure all the girls will go crazy over the accent. The two have very good on-screen chemistry, especially with all the highly emotional scenes in the latter half of the movie. Tom Wilkinson was great in a small role as the taxi driver lending his ear to Ian with his relationship troubles. The film is really touching and has some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see of the English countryside in the second half of the film, in which you follow the couple as they relive the day that changed their lives. A very romantic, beautifully shot film. Here's hoping it gets the exposure it deserves.
80 out of 96 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A moving, well crafted romance with standout performances
MarcJSF6 February 2004
I attended the Sarasota Film Festival recently. "If Only" was the opening night film there, but I passed on the initial screening. However, it generated great buzz from those who saw it, so I caught the second screening of the film at the festival, and I must say I was stunned at how good this film was.

Emily (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Peter (Paul Nicholls, British newcomer) are a young couple living together in London. Peter is a British businessman, Emily, an American, is an aspiring singer. The film opens with some sweet, light hearted comedy as we are introduced to the couple. However, when the two have issues many young couples deal with, they are left on a bad note when suddenly tragedy strikes and their relationship is ended. It is very hard to get in to more detail without giving away too much of the film, but let's just say, we are treated to a touching dramatic story of a romance as we see what a unique opportunity could bring and how we should never take for granted what we say or do in relationships because of what can happen in life.

When you run in to a film of this nature, you always wonder about whether the film will try too hard to pull the heart strings to manipulate an emotional reaction, but the movie is so great at avoiding that. The film is genuinely touching with outstanding, intelligent writing, moving and serious with nice sprinkles of humor when appropriate, and very well paced direction. The acting, to me though, is the biggest shocker. I'd never heard of Paul Nicholls before, but he is a very charming presence. Another reviewer mentioned Hugh Grant, and that is spot on. He is a very charismatic young actor and could develop in to a star down the road. Tom Wilkinson, a staple in very strong independent films ("In the Bedroom" being his favorite of mine though "The Full Monty" has always been near the top of my list as well), graces the movie with another good performance in a supporting role. The biggest standout to me though has to be Jennifer Love Hewitt. I've seen a few of her films, and while she was attractive and charismatic at times, I was fairly unimpressed with her ability as she was usually glossy and two dimensional. I had major doubts about her ability to actually be a lead in a good dramatic film, which is why I skipped this before the great festival buzz, but I have to say, she was perfect. Her physical attributes are more subdued in this film, sure she is pretty, but she has to actually carry this film on her skills as an actress and she pulls it off. She shows range, nails some very emotional scenes, and does something that is the key to pulling off this type of role, which is make you care about what happens to her character. Her happiness comes across as genuine, as does her excitement at a major event that occurs in the film, as does her pain. The performances by Hewitt and Nicholls are what make the climax of the film so dramatic and emotional. This film should advance Hewitt's career beyond the type of run of the mill Hollywood fare that she has based her movie career on so far. She shows great potential as a good leading lady in more serious films which, frankly, is the last thing I expected going in to this film.

"If Only" is independently produced, it is not a studio film, which is why it was showing at the festival as it is making the rounds looking for U.S. distribution. As is often the case, these types of films allow the discove ry of great newcomers (Nicholls) and the chance for more established actors to stretch themselves outside their previous mainstream work (Hewitt) in hopes of making a small film that beats out the major studio work with quality in writing, acting and directing and this film has accomplished that goal. I hope that this film finds the success it deserves down the road; it was the surprise, and treat, of the festival for me and many others in attendance. It is a beautiful love story and an extremely effective film at keeping you involved in the development of the characters for the full two hours. Thumbs up from me and keep an eye out for it.
82 out of 103 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the world's few "must see" movies
snoopy194231 March 2006
This movie changed my life. It is tremendously moving if you are a sensitive person and contains almost as many valuable messages for your life as its length in minutes.

Everyone who knows how to love and wants to learn to love even more should definitely see this film; if you are the type of person who can cry during a film (I never thought I was) then have some Kleenex nearby.

If you find that after viewing this film you do your best to love your partner even more and squeeze the most out of every minute given to you by fate or whatever, then this movie will have opened your eyes in a way similar to how it opened mine.

Ralph, Loving Sandra even more than before
47 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sarasota Film Festival Opening Film...Worth the Ticket Price.
Jko128023 January 2004
Well heres the deal. As an actor myself I like to think that I know what I am looking for in a good film. I think this is one to see.

Samantha (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is in love with her boyfriend, unfortunately he doesn't pay any attention to her. She is living in London attending school there to be with him. She is a music student and aspiring singer/songwriter. Ian (Paul Nicholls) is wrapped up in his job and is taking her "for Granted". A twist of fate occurs and makes him realize what he has.

Honestly, this is the one of the first times Jennifer Love Hewitt has made an impact on a film. She stands out as a true actor in this production. She also Produced this film, which makes her a force to reckon with in Hollywood. She also lends her vocals to the soundtrack which is worth it. The two songs she performs in the film are wonderful.

English actor Paul Nicholls is a wonderful addition to this cast. He is a breath of fresh air for our films, considering American cinema is plagued by the likes of Nick Cannon and Paul Walker types. Nicholls offers Americans a look at our future Hugh Grant. His performance is considerably good, playing both the "horrible boyfriend" and the "loving boyfriend" within the same film. He never makes you think twice about his integrity or especially his acting.

I recommend this film to anyone who is a Jennifer Love Hewitt fan, or to anyone who is a romantic at heart. This one will get ya'. Director Gil Junger, did a wonderful job and Writer Christina Welsh succeeded as a first time screenwriter. I look forward to any projects they take on in the future.

I also hope that an American company picks this film up for distribution soon.
68 out of 92 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Don't Miss.....
steven sykes23 January 2004
Don't miss this movie. I had the opportunity of Pre-screening this movie and i just wanted to say that this was an excellent film. Very well acted, directed, etc. The performance from Jennifer Love-Hewitt was astonishing. Probably the best performance of her career yet. Her co-star Paul Nicholas was just as good. The Direction of the film was excellent as well. The story(which i won't ruin) was great. easy to follow and not too complicated and not too "hoaky". this is a film to see with a date, but keep in mind that it may get a bit sad. for the pure entertainment value, my marks are high. I would say that this is a film that i would watch over and over again. Don't be fooled or deterred by the cast. I say "I know what you did last summer" etc. and as cheesy as they may have been they where entertaining, however this movie far surpassed my expectations. I say definitely see this film. twice.
59 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Something is fishy with these ratings.
Nico11 June 2012
I recently saw this movie on cable, and I don't know what was worse - The story, the acting, Jennifer Love Hewitt's shameless self promotion, the dialog, (both in the script and as executed with varying accents), or the ultimate message of the movie (strong attraction = true love = proving your love with the ultimate sacrifice).

I can just see JLH, as producer, saying, "Let's show how I inspire my students and how much they love me... How sexy my boyfriend thinks I look in my lingerie... How funny I am when I'm nervous and bumbling on and on about why I'm there... And then let's get me singing - with an orchestra, and a chorus!... And then show me singing again! Oh... and don't forget to call in favors and have everyone we know come to IMDb to promote it!"

There is no way that females over 13, or males (of any age) would give this movie an average of 7. For a film about "do-overs" and redemption, (that is also actually funny), you'd be happier seeing Groundhog Day for the umpteenth time, instead of this vanity movie-of-the-week.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Wonderful, Touching Movie
JB6731 December 2004
Luckily, I was able to see this as my final film of 2004. Not being a fan of JLH, I was very impressed with her role here in 'If Only'. Others have described the plot, so I won't go into that. But from top to bottom, this film won me over.

The writing, acting and directing were all top notch. It was a wonderful film, very moving and touching. Hard for me to believe that anyone would dislike this film. With the movie business being what it is, it's doubtful this film will ever be released in the US, so go out any find the Russian DVD, the only release available as of this date.

Voted 9/10.
38 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Painfully predictable
SBartfast23 April 2009
Okay, the movie has it's enjoyable moments (in a throwaway fluff kind of a way), but for the most part it is fairly predictable romantic movie which defies believability on almost every level. The acting is mediocre, the script is poor. Jennifer Love Hewitt is cute - but someone needs to tell her she can't sing.

What amused me most is that the main characters manage to get up late, have an important business meeting, race around London looking for each other, catch a train on the spur of the moment and climb an unspecified mountain all before 11am. I know Americans think that England is small, but its not that small (and our train service is not that good!).
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Last Day - or Week?
wnawara20 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the romantic thread and thought the ending was pretty heroic - probably unnecessarily so. Anyway, I am a bit puzzled by the length of the last day. They woke up, had breakfast, he went to work, then went to a hotel to give a presentation, then went to the pub, went to their apartment, went to her friend's apartment, went to Zinc gallery, then took the train to some distant location which could only be the Lake District, 4 hours away by train each way, climbed a mountain, went into a cabin, lit up fire, went to a pub, took a walk over a bridge, took the train back to London, took the underground, went to London I, went back to their apartment, changed, went to the photocopier, all of that, and a few other small details, then had time to go to the 7 o'clock graduation concert.

Which day was that?
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Love's Best Film.
M0-2321 September 2004
I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of the movie & let me first say i hope one day the movie gets a USA-release...

A small recap of the movie.

(Jennifer Love Hewitt) plays Samantha a music student and aspiring singer/songwriter & lives with Ian her London based Boyfriend played by(Paul Nicholls} The movie starts of well & eazy but midway through it Samantha & Ian have a fall-out & thats where the wonderful part of the movie hits where a huge twist of fate occurs & the movie really takes of.

I wont go much into that but it's a great story.

Honestly, this by far is Jennifer Love Hewitt best work & i recommend it to all movie fans & Jennifer Love Hewitt fans will love it no doubt.
50 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews