If Hollywood has an official playbook for romantic comedies, “Letters to Juliet” definitely follows those romcom rules from start to finish. Picturesque and highly predictable, this film contains no surprises, yet two truly beautiful actresses make “Letters to Juliet” well worth the price of admission.
“Letters to Juliet” features a beautiful heroine with a knuckleheaded boyfriend
Amanda Seyfried plays Sophie, a fact-checker and would-be writer for a New York magazine. Pretty, smart and great at her job, Sophie is, in typical romantic comedy fashion, in love with Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), a self-absorbed knucklehead. A budding restaurateur, Victor would rather stare at cheese wedges and pasta than get lost in Sophie’s gorgeous eyes.
Taking a “pre-honeymoon” in Verona, Victor virtually ignores Sophie while they are in Italy, preferring to spend his time with suppliers or bidding on rare wines at auctions. Frustrated, Sophie wanders the streets with her notebook and comes across a wall where heartbroken women leave letters to Juliet, William Shakespeare’s tragic young heroine.
“The Secretaries of Juliet” answer letters from the lovelorn
The young journalist does some digging and finds an organization called the “Secretaries of Juliet” that answers all these emotional letters. Enchanted, Sophie lends a hand, even answering a letter that has been buried in the wall for 50 years. Her beautiful, though late, response to Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) starts a chain of events that take Sophie across the beautiful Italian countryside.
“Letters to Juliet” and “Leap Year” are cut from the same cloth
While watching “Letters to Juliet,” it is impossible not to think of “Leap Year,” the disastrous Amy Adams romantic comedy from January. Adams played a young woman who traveled to Ireland to be with her absentee boyfriend only to fall in love with another man.
“Letters to Juliet” and “Leap Year” are cut from the same cinematic cloth. Sophie comes to Verona with Victor, but loses her heart to Charlie (Christopher Egan), Claire’s snotty and overprotective grandson. It’s hate at first sight for Sophie and Charlie, but in romantic comedy terms, an insult is just as good as saying “I Love You.”
Vanessa Redgrave and Amanda Seyfried are two in a million
Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave are so impossibly charming on screen, though, that this film actually is highly enjoyable. Seyfried is rapidly becoming Hollywood’s new “It Girl,” and it’s difficult not to fall in love with her each time she smiles.
The equally beautiful Vanessa Redgrave is utterly charming as Claire, the woman who asked Juliet for advice, finally receiving an answer 50 years later. Though separated by several decades in age, Redgrave and Seyfried are two of the most attractive women to grace the same movie screen in a long time.
“Letters to Juliet” may not be out of the ordinary, but Redgrave and Seyfried truly are two in a million.
“Letters to Juliet,” rated PG for brief rude behavior, some language and incidental smoking, currently is playing in theaters.