Friday, May 28, 2010

‘Letters to Juliet’ Sweet and Charming!

‘Do you believe in destiny?’

This is the question Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) poses to Charlie (Christopher Egan) during a dinner while searching for the lost love of his grandmother Claire (the enchanting Vanessa Redgrave). Charlie, a cynic, is perplexed by this question but in this utterly charming, sweet and often predictable film, by the end he does believe in destiny as we the viewers do.

Sophie (Seyfried, equally as beautiful here as she was in ‘Mama Mia!’) has traveled to Italy with her fiancée for a ‘pre-honeymoon’ – which is actually a working vacation for him as he is starting an Italian restaurant back in New York. He is an attentive enough sort – just enough to keep her occupied without actually ever filling her heart; more self centered than ever centered on her. In New York, Sophie is a fact checker with the ‘New Yorker’ magazine, but she has dreams of one day becoming a writer. A visit to Verona, the setting for ‘Romeo and Juliet’, while her fiancée is off at wine auctions presents her with the opportunity she has been looking for. Below the balcony that Juliet stood from, woman from all over the world leave letters for ‘Juliet’; these letters are collected at the end of the day by the ‘Secretaries of Juliet’ who answer each one. Sophie quickly becomes friends with the ladies and while collecting the letters she finds one below a loose brick in the wall – a letter that was written over 50 years ago.

The letter is from Claire (Redgrave) and speaks of the man she was leaving behind as she heads back to England, afraid to pursue her true love. Sophie takes it upon herself to answer Claire’s letter in very moving and poignant words: ‘"What, and If. Those two words standing alone are basically harmless, but link them together and those two words possess great power. What if? What if I didn't listen to all the messages, signs and ignored my destiny? What if I had not recognized true love when it came to me? What if?” The letter goes on, needless to say it was and is very touching; I am sure it is going to end up at several weddings this fall! But the response was powerful enough to bring Claire to Italy to search for the love she left behind.

Charlie, Claire’s grandson, is there to make sure she is safe and well taken care of. He personally feels that the whole concept of destiny and true love is ‘bullox’ but as I am sure anyone will figure out, his draws a different conclusion by the end of the film. Vanessa Redgrave is regal in this film – full of life, charm and light wit; she carries each scene she is in effortlessly. The settings in Italy are beautiful and romantic – adding to the charm of the film; writers Jose Rivera & Tim Sullivan offer plenty of snappy dialogue. There are some choice phrases that should make the movie quotable sites soon – such as Claire imploring Charlie to go after Sophie: “Don’t wait 50 years as I did, after all, how many Sophie’s are there in this world?”

Do I believe in destiny? I would have to say that this old romantic actually does! Love can be found in just the places you may not have been looking and right or wrong, sometimes you just need to actually go after it. This is a 3 ½ star sweet, light hearted trip worth the effort.

This week’s Redbox Rental pick is ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ – with the next installment coming out in June, this may be a good time to catch up on the 2nd part (if you can stay awake through the film). In the second chapter, Edward and Bella continue their vampire/mortal romance. The third film looks promising (at least the trailers look that way) – so for $1.00 at your local Redbox, this 2 star effort is worth it on a rainy evening.

1 comment:


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Hi Bob,

On behalf of Summit Entertainment, many thanks for plugging "Letters to Juliet" ... .. and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, previews, then the official trailer is available for fans and bloggers to post / host / share etc at ... .. for further news and details of on-line promotions for this movie, check-out and, for info on Summit releases generally, check-out the official site and YouTube channel at and

Thanks again for your plug.