AMANDA SEYFRIED CHRISTOPHER EGAN VANESSA REDGRAVE GAEL GARCIA BERNAL
Letters to Juliet
This has been quite the year for Amanda Seyfried; the Mamma Mia star released three films and played against type in one of them. Letters to Juliet is one more romantic comedy in her belt, just on the heels of Dear John. Seyfriend who always flaunts her beautiful lips and long blond hair has become the go-to girl for mainstream romance. Seyfried isn’t without range, although you won’t find that here, her dark turn in the independent sexual thriller Chloe was anything but a safe role and took guts. Letters to Juliet wasn’t quite the hit Dear John was, but did well at the box office. Redgrave, no shock is the film’s only highlight, besides the Tuscan scenery.
Lovelorn New Yorker Magazine fact checker Sophie and her fiancé Victor (Bernal) are off to Italy for a pre-wedding vacation. Victor however is more interested in gathering knowledge and recipes for his new restaurant than going sightseeing with Sophie. Always looking for a story to increase her chances at making writer, Sophie stumbles on a famous wall where women from all over the world write letters to Juliet about their love lives; a group of Italian women called The Secretaries of Juliet respond to every letter. Sophie finds a letter hidden, dating back 50 years ago and decides to help the woman find her long lost love, and in doing so finds something for herself as well.
From the director of Bride Wars and 13 Going on 30, this film never intends to keep the audience in suspense over the outcome of Sophie’s evolving feelings. Therefore the film’s only element to compel us to keep watching is whether Claire (Redgrave) will find the correct Lorenzo Bartolini out of the 74 men of the same name listed in the area, oh wait they show us that in the trailer. Y Tu Mama Tambien’s Bernal plays his most obnoxious character yet, and is wasted on this poorly written character. Seyfried and Egan do have decent chemistry, but their love/hate friendship has ever-after written all over it by their second scene together and we are left to just watch the predictable pieces fall together.
The plot foundation here isn’t helped by the fact that Amy Adams Leap Year tells a much similar story, only in Ireland. The films use of the Taylor Swift song “Love Story” is probably the most appropriate thing about the movie. There is never a real moment where emotion could move someone (unlike one scene in Dear John), leaving Letters to Juliet as just another nonsensical romantic comedy to delude society into believing you just luckily run into people you are suppose to love in foreign countries. I say skip this tour of Americanized Italy for more reasonable and authentic Italian films like I Am Love or The American.
Final Thought – Predictable and plain silly.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih