Letters to Juliet – Review
The Shakespearean tale of Romeo and Juliet is a love story that women everywhere have embraced throughout the ages. That constant longing for finding that one true love and going after it despite the odds, is something that is a prominent theme in Letters to Juliet. The journey up and down Italy that Sophie (Amanda Seyfried, Dear John) leads us through, is predictable, yet charming enough to woo us over.
We’ve seen the story before, second chances at love in different shapes and forms that inspire us to get all warm-hearted. This romantic comedy follows the same formula with Sophie (Seyfried) who travels to Verona, Italy with her fiance (Gael García Bernal) who’s out of the picture a majority of the film due to a constant swing of ignoring his love. Bernal is, unfortunately, the most under-used; immediately shoved to the side as the would-be road block in order to make the budding romance between Sophie and Charlie (Christopher Egan) a lot easier to get to. Seyfried completely plays up the cute and determined young woman with a heart of gold to the core which works the most whenever she’s sharing screen time with Egan. His entertaining portrayal of the stubborn but soft-hearted Charlie passes, along with his striking features, enough to make the women in the audience sigh wishing they were Sophie.
In this case, the main love story between the two isn’t the most engaging but Claire’s (Vanessa Redgrave) quest for her long-lost love Lorenzo (Franco Nero, Django) gives you that flutter in your heart of hope. Redgrave shows off her solid skills in front of the camera and whisks away the audience anytime she appears.
Gary Winick handles the overly mushy chick flick material well enough to translate the heart melting script from the pages to the big screen. Tim Sullivan and Jose Rivera’s script is rather predictable to a fault all the way to a point where it’s easy to figure out all that would happen within the first fifteen minutes of the story. Then again when you have mainly fine performances and a gorgeous back drop of a foreign country completely enveloping you throughout the film, it’s forgivable. Letters to Juliet is the latest notch in a collection of romantic comedies or “chick flicks” that will easily sweep it’s demographic off it’s feet. If you want that warm and fuzzy feeling again from those true love tales you read and watch so much on, this is right up your alley.