Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: Letters to Juliet

Grade: B

An American girl, Sophie, and fact finder for the New Yorker is on vacation in Verona, Italy with her fiancé. One day she visits the location that Romeo and Juliet supposedly met. There, women leave letters to Juliet asking for help with their love life. Sophie discovers that there are women who call themselves the “secretaries of Juliet” who answer the letters. Sophie, who is a talented writer, asks if she can help respond to the letters. One day she finds a letter hidden in the wall that has been there for 50 years. She finds the letter so heartbreaking that she chooses to respond to the letter. Much to her surprise, a couple days later, the woman who wrote the letter, Claire, shows up with her grandson and is determined to find her long lost love she talks about in her letter. Claire then decides to let Sophie tag along her adventure and write an article about it.

I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. The main plot of Claire, Sophie and a reluctant Charlie driving around Italy trying to find Claire’s lost love is actually very sweet and charming and fun to watch. However, the sub-plot of Sophie and Charlie slowly falling in love is very cliché. It starts out that they hate each other and can’t really stand to be around each other but as they get to know each other better a spark forms between them, all very by the book. Really, the show stealer in this movie is Italy itself. The movie is loaded with beautiful shots of the Italian cities and its architecture and amazing shots of the awe inspiring Italian country side. Now, what amuses me about that is that the characters are constantly strolling through the streets or driving through that country side as though they’ve been there a thousand times before and just don’t care, nobodies looking around or even pausing for a second at the scenery. Also, beware, the ending of the movie is about as cheesy as it gets. There is one plot hole of sorts that I get a kick out of as well. When we first meet Claire and Charlie, Sophie and Claire scoff at Charlie’s notion that there is no such thing as “one true love” and that love is simply a mixture of hormones. But Claire and Lorenzo prove Charlie right because both of them married and had children and stayed married to that other person until that spouse passed away.

The acting in the movie was pretty decent. Amanda Seyfried (Jennifer’s Body, Dear John) plays the lead role of Sophie. Seyfried was pretty good in this role and gave her own touch to the character that helped make the movie enjoyable. Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement, Mission: Impossible) plays Claire. Redgrave was defiantly one of the better parts of the movie, she made her character sweet and funny and you really felt for her. Christopher Egan (Virgin Territory, TV’s Kings) plays Claire’s grandson, Charlie. Egan was very enjoyable but fell to the same fate that every character like his in a chick flick like this does, he is very funny and enjoyable in the first half of the movie then he turns into this love sick puppy for the rest of the movie just trying to get Sophie’s attention.

The movie is very enjoyable and well worth checking out. Despite a couple flaws, the movie is actually pretty good and a new take on your usual chick flick. This is an excellent date movie if you’re looking for one.

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