Letters to Juliet is much like the tragic story that this film is named after; it is beautiful in the poetic written sense but ultimately dreadful in the way it plays out. The initial plot of this script shows Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) visiting Italy with her fiancé Victor (Gael García Bernal) who is looking for Italian inspiration for a restaurant which he wants to open in New York. While there Sophie finds herself in the garden of Juliet where she finds a hidden love letter written fifty years ago by a British foreign exchange student and she decides to answer it. As the story continues it follows the journey two women Sophie and Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) who are searching for Claire’s long lost love Lorenzo. As these women go on an extensive journey throughout scenic Italy to find Claire’s lost love they come in contact with many different men posing as Lorenzo which tests not only their patience but also Claire’s devotion to the love of her life.
What complicates and ultimately destroys this film is the overlaying love story that was created during this journey between Sophie and Charlie (Chris Egan) Claire’s grandson. Charlie quickly becomes a nuisance to the story since his role was not particularly influential and instead just seems to tag along with the other characters on their journey. As the story continues there becomes an awkward love triangle where there seems to be no chemistry between Seyfried or either of her love interests. Like most other romantic comedies there are arrays of cheesy romantic lines that are exchanged back and forth between the characters to entice the viewers to believe in the love that these characters portray.
Although there were many negative aspects to Letters to Juliet this film shouldn’t be completely written for those who are enticed by the idea of this film. One of the most notable aspects of this film was the inspired acting performed by Redgrave. Unlike many other parts of the film which were awkward and erratic her acting was in a constant state of precision which left the viewer in awe. For those who look to Letters to Juliet as nothing more than another romantic comedy will truly enjoy the traditional love story aspect of this film, especially the romantic climacteric moments in both love stories. One can become enthralled with constant movement of the story and the romantic situations that are created not only by the story line but also by the beautiful and scenic back drop that Italy provides for this film. Although Letters to Juliet has various shortcomings ultimately it does what it is meant to, fulfill the position of a classic romantic comedy.