Director: Gary Winick
Writer: Jose Rivera, Tim Sullivan
DVD and Blu-ray release date: October 4 2010
Studio: E1 Entertainment
Number of discs: 1
Price: From ÂŁ10.99-ÂŁ14.93
Running Time: 105 mins
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Gael GarcĂa Bernal, Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan
The trailers and poster virtually tell you all you need to know about this film, including its conclusion so why rent or buy it? Letters to Juliet is unlikely to attract film geeks, a male audience or more discerning film goers but that said, hardcore romcom fans won’t be disappointed.
Young engaged couple, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and Victor (Gael GarcĂa Bernal), go to Italy, combining pleasure with business as Victor plans to meet potential suppliers for his soon-to-open restaurant. While sightseeing in Verona, Sophie discovers â€śJuliet’s secretariesâ€ť, so-called because this group of sensitive souls answer love-struck letters left by locals and tourists under Juliet’s balcony.
Helping the loved-up ladies, Sophie discovers a fifty year-old letter from Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) concealed and decides to answer it. Swiftly after sending her reply, Sophie meets Claire and her pompous grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan), who have come to track down Claire’s first love. Recognising a good story and at a loose end, Sophie tags along, helping their search.
Letters To Juliet stars two equally overbearing and frustrating male lead characters but one couldn’t care less while the other cares too much. Sophie’s fiance, Victor, is more interested in food than her, rarely paying attention to anything she says. He’s more interested in travelling â€ś120 miles to see a mushroomâ€ť than sightseeing, something Sophie can’t understand. Eventually they agree to a â€świn, winâ€ť plan, splitting off so Sophie can explore and Victor can visit vineyards, olive oil factories, wine auctions and cheese makers.
Charlie is rude from the outset but is in fact a man with a heart â€“ a lawyer who takes pro-bono cases defending the defenseless and churns out romantic drivel: â€śYou must feel like youâ€™re about to find your long-lost soul mate.â€ť Looking like something from Beverly Hills 90210 and sounding like a toff with his ridiculously over-the-top British accent, Charlie actually hails from Summer Bay, having starred in Home and Away for many years. At times he acts like a petulant child and at others he spouts some of the best lines of the film, describing Claire as â€śChurchill in a dressâ€ť and his feelings about ending his trip: â€ślike a school boy on Sundayâ€ť.
Letters To Juliet is nothing new, frankly downright predictable and packed with stinky cliched stilton. Winick actually manages to incorporate a hero riding in at the last moment on a white horse and satisfies viewers with the obligatory balcony scene, Charlie rather obviously hints at earlier in the film. Lines like â€śLove is never too lateâ€ť and â€śI went for a ride an old man but I came back a young manâ€ť, are sure to trigger tears of happiness from sentimental hankie-hugging viewers.
The tumultuous relationship between Charlie and Sophie is supposed to be the source of all humour from their opening brisk purposeful strides set to slapstick music – in reality funnier moments stem from the name Lorenzo as Claire bewitches elderly Italian men all over Tuscany. One gentlemen recalls in horror the women he wooed the night Claire met her true love: â€śI curse her moustacheâ€ť, while an old dude in speedos sporting a tied up Hawaiian shirt is enough to make Claire contemplate abandoning her mission.
Letters To Juliet is no masterpiece and the ease with which Sophie gets work published in the New Yorker is unrealistic and frustrating but as far as breezy light-hearted summer feel-good films go, it does the job.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- The Making of Letters to Juliet
- Commentary With The Director And Cast
- Featurette: A Courtyard in Verona