Thursday, 13 May 2010

Letters to Juliet: Movie Review

Letters to Juliet: Movie Review

Letters to Juliet
Rating: 4/10
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal, Christopher Egan
Director: Gary Winick
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Surely one of the most iconic phrases from many an English lesson and thanks to numerous films, that balcony scene involving Romeo and Juliet is etched into many a romantic mind.
Amanda Seyfried stars as the soon to be married American researcher Sophie, who heads to Verona with her fiancée Victor (Garcia Bernal) to enjoy a pre marriage break.
But instead of splurging on the culture or her, Victor spends a lot more of his time meeting with suppliers for his restaurant and leaves Sophie to her own devices.
So, Sophie ends up under that infamous balcony where many a star crossed lover posts a "letter to Juliet" asking for help. As Sophie follows a gaggle of ladies who answer these letters, she finds herself questioning her own life and destiny.
And that confusion is made even worse, when she answers a letter sent by a girl called Claire. The response she dishes out sees the older Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) head to Verona to pursue her destiny - along with her grand son Charlie (Egan) - how will their intertwined destinies play out?
What can you say about Letters to Juliet? It's another romantic comedy which is light and frothy and pitches squarely for a certain audience who'll be happy with it - high art it certainly is not. Beautifully shot though it is - still, with a canvas like Verona to work from, that's not surprising.
It's scattered with bon mots throughout which will amuse some ("Husbands are like wine - they take time to mature") but irritate others; likewise some of the characterisation is a bit lazy. Victor is clearly not the man Sophie should be with - and thanks to that, you don't actually feel Sophie's choice is as painful or as dramatic as it could be. I know it's still supposed to be romantic comedy with a tinge of drama but it would have injected a bit more bite into it.

There's a few cheesy contrived moments as well as some predictable moments but all in all Letters to Juliet delivers exactly what you'd expect.

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