I am a hopeless romantic. That is why I could not wait to see “Letters to Juliet” when it came out on DVD.
The movie stars Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Egan. It begins with Sophie (Seyfried) and her fiance (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) deciding to take a pre-honeymoon in Verona, Italy.
Once they are there, it seems that Victor (Bernal) is more interested in talking to his restaurant suppliers than spending time with his girl. Left alone to her own devices, Sophie decides to check out Juliet’s Wall; a place where women leave messages to Juliet about their failing love lives.
Sophie stays until almost nighttime and is shocked when a woman comes along to collect the messages in a basket. Once she is finished, Sophie follows her back to a loft above a restaurant. There she discovers that some of women of the town meet each day to answer Juliet’s letters.
Sophie agrees to help the secretaries to Juliet and takes special interest in a very old letter she uncovers inside a stone of the wall while collecting the messages. It is from a girl who was seeking guidance whether or not to disobey her parents and run away with the love of her life or to do as she was told.
Although the letter is 50 years old, Sophie still answers and posts it. Days later the woman in question ‘” Claire (Redgrave) ‘” shows up with her grandson in tow.
Charlie (Egan) is none too happy that Sophie’s letter has renewed his grandmother’s interest in finding her long, lost love. He treats Sophie rudely and does everything he can think of to discourage his grandmother.
However, Claire has her mind set on answering the question “what if?” So the three of them set off in search of Lorenzo Bartolini (played by Franco Nero), Claire’s soul mate.
The search doesn’t go well at first. It seems there are dozens of Lorenzo Bartolinis. While many are flattered by Claire’s interest and try to trick her into believing they are the right Lorenzo, Claire knows in her heart that they are not.
Just as the search comes to an end; however, a twist of fate puts Claire and Lorenzo back on the pathway to one another. It seems that a happy story is about to be had by all. Or is it?
“Letters to Juliet” is a marvelous romantic comedy. I really loved that Hollywood was willing to show that love knows no age limit. The focus of the film was an older couple.
Seyfried is so charming and beguiling that she manages to stand toe to toe with Redgrave and leave as strong a lasting impression as the great actress herself. She even stole a scene or two away from Redgrave.
Egan proved the perfect foil for Sophie. The audience suspects right from the start that their electric chemistry could turn dislike to something far more pleasurable.
Nero was the right choice opposite Redgrave. He looked every bit the knight in shining armor riding in on his white horse.
Redgrave has mellowed somewhat with age and it suits her. She has never been better or more beautiful.
While there is no deep, moral issue dealt with in this film, it is still relevant. These days I think all of us need to believe that love conquers all.
For its ability to make you smile, laugh, cry and applaud, I give “Letters to Juliet” 3 Â½ stars.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.