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By Ilana Lindsey | September 7, 1998

Clumsily executed piffle. “If Only” is a one-dimensional film covering similar territory to Sliding Doors (apparently both films were shot during the same time period.) Victor Bukowski breaks up with his girlfriend, Sylvia, regrets his decision, and is then sent back in time and given a second chance by some magical garbage men. The paper-thin, contrived and illogical plot scripted by Rafa Russo isn’t helped by Spaniard Maria Ripoll’s awkward, rhythmless direction. Her visuals are alternately bland and mysteriously distracting (why exactly is the pianist practicing Lamaze breathing techniques?) The script is poorly structured with stale, on-the-nose dialog. The actors do the best they can with their inconsistent, one-dimensional roles. Douglas Henshall (“Angels and
Insects”) is crustily attractive as the constantly unshaven Victor, but has absolutely zero chemistry with either pretty but vacant Lena Headey as Sylvia or Penelope Cruz as Louise.

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