If Only (2004) Poster


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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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!).
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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"I wanna tell
Jr Villacruz9 August 2005
I'm speechless actually. I don't know what to say yet. I just came straight from caisson mall cinema 4 to be exact....... I just finished watching the movie IF ONLY. Now, if you were able to watch the movie then you know why I'm speechless right now. If i were to rate the movie from the scale of 1-10, 10 as the highest.....i will give the movie 10. It was so great. Straight to the point.

The message is just simple: If you love someone don't waste time of showing how much you love him or her. On how much you value him or her. And how much you appreciated him or her for being there with you.

The movie was perfect. So if I were you, you find ways and watch the movie. If your into a relationship, you watch it with your sweetheart. Or with you family and friends.

You'll miss one half of your life if you miss the movie.

So long......................"I wanna tell you why i love you...i love you since the first time i saw you. I don't know but you bring love to my life. If not because of you, I am a guy who doesn't know what love is. You taught me what love is and how to love...i love you."
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Truly Moving, Love the Twist.
JNoble19 July 2004
I was fortunate enough to view this film during the Sarasota Film Festival with the Director (Junger) and the star (Hewitt) in attendance. Though I truly wish this film could have been shot in the U.S., the Euro setting of the film helped to add to the overall storyline wonderfully. I recommend this film due to the well crafted story and thought provoking experiences it presents. A young couple is in their final days together before (Hewitt) is to return to the U.S., or so it seems. This film plays with the thought we have all had at one time or another, "If only I could have that moment over again". I would advise anyone to see this film, "If Only" it could find the right deal to be released, PLEASE! Bravo Jennifer and Gil, a tremendous film adventure.
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Sickly Sweet Claptrap
colinmac24253 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
When you get an orchestral and operatic performance suddenly transform itself into X-factor with J.L. Hewitt, you know things are going down hill rapidly. The film begins with an opening sequence, that suddenly reminded me of Sliding Doors, which to an extent this film resembled. Sliding Doors had events occurring differently, with a slight time shift of a couple of minutes or so. If Only reiterates the same events of the previous day, with variations - a little like Groundhog Day, but with only one extra day. At one point, they seem to travel to Northern England or Scotland, climb a mountain, make love in a stone cabin and make it back plenty in time for a 7pm recital. Then again, time doesn't appear to have much of a say in the film, seeing as Nicholls manages to transform himself from a self-centred bastard to boyfriend of the year in a day, with just the odd shake of his head towards the impossibility of the temporal manoeuvrings. With the lame attempts at humour, the annoying cute smiles by Hewitt and the overacting by Nicholls, it's no wonder the taxi-driver drove out into traffic the second time around. Avoid like a car crash.
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Cedric_Catsuits3 July 2011
Paul Nicholls' performance here is one of the worst I've ever seen, and his accent changes so often throughout the movie I wonder if it was dubbed in parts. The story is nonsense, and the number of events and amount of travelling done in the space of one day would only be possible with the aid of a time machine.

Fortunately we have the gorgeous JLH to compensate, and although not the world's greatest actor she has a charisma and, apparently, a musical ability that makes her watchable no matter how ridiculous the plot. She's never stretched emotionally by this one, though it must have stretched her acting ability to be able to convey any interest in such a ridiculous and poorly scripted story.

Even the very able Tom Wilkinson struggles to look competent when faced with acting into a rear-view mirror, a technique which fails to hide his obvious disdain.

JLH elevates it from a 1 to a 2 vote, but if you aren't a fan then this is definitely one to avoid.
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Don't let whose in it fool you....one of the best
steven sykes5 October 2004
I had the pleasure of seeing a screening of this movie in Orange County quite a while ago. I also stayed behind and had a focus group for the filmmakers and everyone in the group loved it. as well as me. the movie screams romance and drama with some well written comedy too. the acting was way above par for all the actors. Being a Jennifer Love Hewitt fan i'm a little biased. i know her movies in the passed haven't been what she's capable of but her performance in "If Only" is a huge step for her. one of the best acted films in a great while. don't be deterred because you don't like someone in it just give it a chance and you'll walk out happy you did. the movies untimely release has been due to budget and that fact that it's an independent film. studios don't like to take too many chances any more they just want all the big ones.
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JLH on her promotion tour
faxenmacher15 February 2005
This movie is an excellent example to show the effects of having the main actor and producer combined in one single person: It is egocentric and this focus on the main character which leaves no room for the rest makes it boring. JLH tries to be the sweet, cute, understanding lover and passionate strong artist at the same time. The plot seems nothing but to be constructed around this, all dialogues appear artificial, romantic is misleadingly exaggerated. In Fact - it's more like an extended music video than a movie. Yes, JLH has got a beautiful voice - but that's it: Nothing more! And that's not enough for a feature-length movie...
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IF only this would have been a good movie...
siderite23 June 2007
OK, I am biased on this one. Forced by the wife into searching a romantic movie, I found this one and was glad to see it was an indie flick about some people said it was good. In my book, indie implies at least novelty.

Alas, it was not to be. This movie is as full of clichés as all the other movies called If Only. I mean, not even the title is original for crying out loud! A love affair between a Brit and an American girl which has no humour, nothing really standing out (and I mean both music and acting), with a title that says it all (yet another movie about going back on a particular moment and trying to change it)

And no, not even the wife liked it. Could it be that this film was produced by Hewitt because it was the only way she could be cast into a movie or allowed to sing?
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A two-way version
ca116 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I loved that movie for all what was said before I do, but I see one additional plus: maybe the genius side of the writer and the Director: You can see the movie two ways: 1 - Like the probable intention of the author: a couple, on the breaking point, because he is too busy to love freely; an accident, she dies. He is drowning in his grief, and his conscience makes him re-live the story where he realizes his shortcomings, his losses, and punishing himself, he dies at the end. 2 - The movie start on what we can around the middle believe it's a dream (premonition?). When he wakes up, relieved, he understood the message of his dream: "love fully, for 5 minutes or 50 years, but fully". He apply this lesson, "as if it is his last day", touches the happiness of love, and, in a twist of the fate, dies in the accident he was dreaming, the night before that his love lost her life. No matter the way you watch this movie, it's a piece of Art; the makers are geniuses How about an award? would it not deserve one?
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winterchild-314 July 2008
This is one of the very worst movies I have ever rented.... the acting was terrible, apart from the taxi driver played by Tom Williamson.. what was he doing in a movie as poor as this? Paul Nicholas (who looks a little like Jude Law, but in this case thats as far as it goes..) has the most terrible Northern English accent I have heard. I have not seen or heard of this actor before, but would not go out of my way to see him again, I could have played the part better and I am a five foot 2 female. Jennifer Love Hewitt was perfectly sickly, I am sure I have seen her do better than this. Apart from the awful acting, the storyline was just way too cheesy and it took forever to end, the twist at the end didn't work... it came an hour too late (real time...).
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Absolutely horrible
nw29 January 2007
My girlfriend went on and on about this movie so I figured I would try to suppress all common sense and give it a shot. Terrible, just terrible. It was what you would expect a Lifetime movie to be like if it was written by a fourteen year old girl. I literally spent at least a third of the 'film' trying not to laugh at the dialog and the acting is right on par with the writing. It's your typical story: girl loves guy, guy actually has a decent paying job so he can't spend every waking second telling girl how crazy he is about her, girl feels unappreciated, blah, blah, blah. I'd write more but I think my brain shut off halfway through the movie and parts of it are afraid to come back on in fear that it isn't over yet. Oh yeah, was mortified when they blatantly ripped off the Run Lola Run soundtrack for one of the more unnecessary sequences. Probably the only good thing about this movie is that it did remind me that I need to watch that movie (RLR) again.
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If Only...I'd never seen this!
Jai Vong8 April 2008
As Jennifer Love Hewitt would say, "OMG!" Wow, this movie was so unbelievable and stupid. Unromantic, boring, terribly acted... The list goes on and on... And furthermore, she has to tack on her songwriting and singing, I swear she is trying to take on David Hasselhoff for the Cheese prize. Actually, Hasselhoff can be forgiven of some of his faults since he did do "Knight Rider". OK, maybe not fair to put them in the same category. Although I can't fault the blame totally on Love. None of the actors were convincing at all, except maybe Tom Wilkenson, although I do think slightly less of him for taking part in this horrible film. Regardless, Miz JLH can rest assured that she may add another notch to her Razzie belt.
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Well done--until the end.
allen_griff27 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is definitely a spoiler for women--but more a warning to guys. This movie gives away its early plot points on the DVD sleeve, but it moves along well and the actors are winsome. The fog and the stop action/speed frames create the desired supernatural overtones. I found myself being drawn in. As the plot rose to the climax, I was moved by the acting and happily surprised by Jennifer Love-Hewitt's singing. I was buying it. However, I had forgotten to ask the one question I always ask my girlfriend before watching one of these: at the end, do they kill off the guy and send the girl on, saddened but stronger now and ready to face her triumphant future without him? Alas, once again it seems the only great lover is a dead one. ("Jack!! Jack!! I'll miss you so!!" she says as Jack sinks into the freezing Atlantic.) Sorry--wrong movie. I do lose track as the bodies fall away.
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A Movie Strictly for Love Jennifer Love Hewitt Fans
jamaica-yancy1 June 2008
There are those who will love Jennifer Love Hewitt no matter what she does. The rest of you will find Love Hewitt's acting less than compelling, her singing mediocre, and the plot line flimsy and predictable. Even the plot twists in this film are bland and predictable. This movie might have been acceptable for those in the market for a light romance, except that there is little chemistry between the leads. It is difficult to ascertain whether Paul Nicholls is a poor actor or the victim of a weak script. Those simply hoping to see Jeniffer Love Hewitt scantily clad will not be disappointed. The most enjoyable element of the film was a small, though memorable performance by five year old Al Wilde.
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poor man's 'sliding doors' with extra cheese!
george-gornall10 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this film with my wife and by the end we were both in tears of pain due to the awful cheesiness of the direction. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it, it makes 'love actually' look understated! The script was terrible and the storyline average at best. It's difficult not to compare it to the vastly superior 'sliding doors'.

Paul Nichols (Eastender's Joe) has a roaming accent all the way through and basically it's difficult to care about either character when they struggle to make do with such bad dialogue.

Love Hewitt's song at the end is a joke and obviously some sort of vehicle for a pop career.
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Nice premise ... that's it
kosmasp20 May 2007
I'm more than surprised, that this movie is so well received here. But that goes to show you that there are many different opinions and likings! And to be truthful, by the premise the movie has, it could've been really good.

It's a love story with a twist, so to speak. Or maybe more than one? The premise/the story should be reason enough for me to rate this higher. It should be, but even if I like it and think Jennifer Love Hewitt is cute and good looking, I can't overlook it's flaws. And Jennifer is one of them. It might be the script that let's her down, but I do think that it is established here, that she can't act. It's a shame and I really don't like saying that, because as I wrote I like her. So she can't act and the script (dialogue!!!) sucks too (has plot holes in it that would make holes in a swiss cheese envious! I really would've liked to write better things, but then again I would've liked to watch a better picture also (that's what I think and I couldn't care less if this is not a popular opinion)!
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