Letters to Juliet – DVD Review
An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered “letter to Juliet” — one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover’s Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by a the “secretaries of Juliet” — and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter
Pick of the Week!
Letters to Juliet, to be quite honest, is kind of run-of-the-mill romantic comedy, or rom-com as we call them, a kind of chick flick. However, it is a cut above the usual because of the cast. Amanda Seyfried, who was in Mamma Mia, is cute and blonde. She’s the current it-girl. And Christopher Egan is a cute Brit. But Gael Garcia Bernal, which we remember from a bunch of films including Mammoth and Y tu mama tambien. Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero, who were once lovers in real life, are in it. So the story is that a young woman goes on a pre-honeymoon with her boyfriend to Italy because he is going to open a restaurant, and he thinks of himself as Italian, even though he’s obviously Spanish. He goes off to do things on his own, and she goes off to do things on her own. One of the things that she finds when she’s wandering around on her own is the Juliet balcony and the wall where lovesick women write letters to Juliet hoping that their love problems will be answered. She’s a fact checker at The New Yorker wanting to be a writer, so she decides that this is a great story and goes and collects some of the letters. One that’s been very wedged behind a rock falls into her hands, and it was written 50 years ago, so she decides to answer it. As a result, Vanessa Redgrave shows up her with her grandson, Christopher Egan. We know, because they loathe each other at first sight, that they’re going to end up with each other, so we don’t care a whole lot about them. But we care enormously about the fact that Vanessa is going to go and look for her long, lost love, Lorenzo Bartoli. It turns that there are 80 year old Lorenzo Bartoli is in the area. So we go and see these various guys that don’t quite make it, and Vanessa is her usual, intrepid, fabulous self. And of course, because it’s a romantic comedy, she finds him, and what ensues is true romance. And if you don’t shed a tear, you’re tougher than I am. So, this is really, as I said, a charming romantic comedy with some great scenery. It’s a little hard to tell whether the film was shot on location or not because the scenery really isn’t given enough credit. But the idea is that because of the cast, that this movie works a lot better than it has any right to. Oliver Platt also appears as an uncredited cameo. So, I would give this three stars, mostly because of the cast, and if you’re really in the mood for a tear jerker, then happily I’d give it three and a half, maybe even four.