Letters to Juliet

16 Jul

Title: Letters to Juliet
Year: 2010
Director: Gary Winick
Writer: José Rivera and Tim Sullivan
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Chris Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal and Franco Nero
MPAA Rating: PG, brief rude behavior, some language and incidental smoking
Runtime: 105 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 42%

I’m a huge fan of Amanda Seyfried, I think that has been established by now, so yes, I loved her in Letters to Juliet as well, and the rest of the cast I liked too, I mean Vanessa Redgrave is a legend and can’t do no wrong, and Gael García Bernal is a pretty good actor as well, so this film has the casting done perfectly, and I think it’s a pretty damn solid romantic film, but I found to many faults with the script to really let myself enjoy it as much as I could have had the writing been better. But I will say one thing, and that is that the fact that Frank Nero, Redgrave’s real-life husband, was cast in this film is something I really appreciated.

And I will have to say that I sincerely liked this film, maybe it’s because it resonated with me for some deep romantic reason, maybe it’s the more shallow, and perhaps more accurate, option that it was just because I’m infatuated with Ms. Seyfried, but whatever the case may be I liked this one quite a lot. Yes, it’s all a bit too formulaic and weak and melodramatically dumb, but whatever, I liked it, I felt this did it for me and that’s what films, especially romantic films, have to do for one.

The plot is simple enough, but also charming, I thought. An American girl, that’d be Ms. Seyfried, goes to Verona with the man she’s about marry, who would be Mr. García Bernal, and while he’s off finding truffles for the restaurant he owns back home she goes to the mythical house in which, supposedly, Juliet Capulet (as in the one from Romeo & Juliet) lived, and where, for years and years, many lovelorn girls have left letters asking her for advice.

Sophie, the Amanda Seyfried character, then reads one of those letters, one of a British girl who fell in love with a local while she was there and then left him to return home, and she goes ahead and replies to that letter and urges the British girl, Claire, to come back. The letter was written half a decade ago so Claire, the Vanessa Redgrave character, comes equipped with her handsome grandson, who is the Christopher Egan character, and they go on the search for Lorenzo, the boy she had once loved and who is, as I noted before. played by Ms. Redgrave’s real-life husband. And I can’t say this enough, I loved that Frank Nero played Lorenzo, it made it mean so much more to me in the sense that Vanessa Redgrave really is deeply in love with him, and it showed.

This a brilliant romantic film, it’s seriously far from perfect, but it did it for me, and as a date movie one could certainly spend a couple of hours in way worse ways, so consider this as a pretty solid option, and if you leave the theater and don’t want to get a plane ticket to Verona then I think we saw a different film, Amanda Seyfried herself said in an interview that the only reasons she did a romantic commercial film were because she would get to work with a legend and visit an incredible location, and she’s right, Verona is a beautiful place and the shots of it are gorgeous and they add that much more romantic spark to this film. And yes, Vanessa Redgrave is a living legend and she’s just awesome.

Grade: B

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