Letters to Juliet, which opens at theatres everywhere on Friday, May 14, tells the story of aspiring writer Sophie (Amanda Seyfriend), an American who travels to Verona with her emotionally negligent fiancé (Gael Garcia Bernal). While left to her own devices in the beautiful city, Sophie visits the home of Juliet Capulet of Romeo and Juliet fame and discovers a special wall where women from all around the world write letters to the fictional character. What surprises Sophie most, however, is the fact that a small group of women – Juliet’s secretaries – actually answer each and every letter. Intrigued, Sophie stays on to learn more about Juliet’s secretaries and ends up responding to a letter herself. Sophie’s response quickly reaches Claire, (Vanessa Redgrave) who lost her one true love long ago, and her cheeky, sarcastic grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan). The three embark on a long journey through the country to try and track down Claire’s long lost love.
While Letters to Juliet is a thoroughly predictable romantic comedy (savvy audience members will have the ending worked about in about ten minutes), it is done well and actually does supply a somewhat original back story. Even though the audience has seen these characters many times before, it is impossible not to care about them, and even the toughest of critics will have to admit that a few, great scenes make it impossible not to laugh – or cry. Thankfully, this film is also a relief from the latest rom coms – overly saccharine Nicholas Sparks adaptations or ridiculously over the top Sandra Bullock films, anyone?
The casting was also superb for this picture. Amanda Seyfried, star of Big Love and Mean Girls, is really starting to come into her own. She makes a great rom com queen that the audience can’t help but love with her angelic face and sweet, quirky acting style. Veteran actress Redgrave is also surprisingly wonderful in this. Not only is she as beautiful as ever, but she’s also funny and believable as the high spirited, determined Claire. Charlie Egan and Gael Garcia Bernal are also well cast and both provide a lot of fun and laughs along the way.
Since this flick is rated PG, it’s the perfect movie to take the kids or the grandparents to see. Be aware, however, that the “romance” develops rather quickly and unbelievably, so it’s best to take the whole movie with a grain of salt. After all, isn’t that what romantic comedies are for? For more information on Letters to Juliet, visit the official website at http://www.letterstojuliet-movie.com