Movie Review: Letters To Juliet (2010)

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Comedy

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Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is a fact checker at the New Yorker magazine, who wants to be a writer. Her fiancé Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal) is an up and coming chef.  The two decide to travel to Italy for different reasons, Victor wants to go on wine tastings and eat truffles, and Sophie wants to go on romantic sightseeing tours, so they do these things separately, Victor does his foodie things and Sophie goes on a trip to Verona Italy to see a wall and statue devoted to Juliet Capulet.  Distraught lovers write notes to Juliet in hopes that their romantic problems will be answered.  Everyday, Secretaries of Juliet take the notes from the wall, and answer them.  Sophie is intrigued by these secretaries and follows them on the trip to the wall.  On one such trip, Sophie finds a 50 year old letter to Juliet from Claire (Vanessa  Redgrave) Claire left her Italian boyfriend Lorenzo Bartolini (Franco Nero) waiting for her 50 years ago.  Sophie decides to answer Claire’s letter and meets Claire’s grandson Charlie (Chris Egan) and eventually Claire herself.  Together the three set off to find the elusive Bartolini.  Do they find him?  Do Charlie and Sophie start to fall in love?  Does Claire’s love story make a good book for Sophie?

This was a very mediocre, predictable romantic comedy.  Everyone knows what’s going to happen from the start, and that’s exactly how the movie plays out.  By making the older people’s love story the focus of the movie, the potential young lovers take a back seat.  I don’t think the writers intended to do that, but that’s exactly what happens.   Seyfried tries mightily to breathe some life into her character, but there are too many clichés buzzing around her to make her character interesting.  Redgrave seems bored by the proceedings, and there are no sparks between Seyfried and Chris Egan, who just stands around and smiles a lot.  Actually, the fiancé has all the passion in the movie, and they could have made a dynamic couple. Further there is no grand romantic gesture or episode to make the audience believe that something special is happening here. Instead, this movie lurches to its inevitable end.

Letters to Juliet:  Wherefore art Thou Originality?

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