I finally made it to see the film, Letters to Juliet, a movie I had been anticipating for months (ever since discovering the story behind the Juliet Club). While I will admit that I was disappointed with the predictability of the film, my tween nieces found the film enthralling. In a climate where many movies and television programs go for “shock value”, Letters to Juliet is a tame alternative that is ideal for tweens and young teens. Here is a brief synopsis of the film and some reasons why Letters to Juliet is a good film for tween and teen girls.
Synopsis of Letters to Juliet
The plot of Letters to Juliet is standard romantic fluff. A young American, Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried) heads to Verona, Italy with fiancé, Victor (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) to enjoy a pre wedding honeymoon. Victor is more interested in opening his new restaurant than with exploring the Italian countryside with Sophie, which leaves Sophie to explore the ancient artifacts mostly on her own.
While exploring the historic Casa di Giulietta, the centuries old house which supposedly inspired Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet, she stumbles upon the very real “Secretaries of Juliet”. Sophie, who is employed on the journalistic fringes as a fact checker in her native New York, is captivated by the idea of the romantic forlorn writing letters to Shakespeare’s Juliet. She stumbles upon a long forgotten and unanswered letter and makes the decision to respond. This leads Sophie to meet the author of the letter, Claire a widowed Englishwoman (played by Vanessa Redgrave) and her grandson, Charlie (played by Christopher Egan). Sophie soon finds herself torn between fiancé, Victor and newcomer Charlie.
What Makes Letters to Juliet worth Seeing
If you have read any number of reviews of the film, you already know that the plot is predictable. Several things make the film watchable. First, the Italian countryside is beautiful, especially the footage of the Casa di Giulietta. The two female stars are both charming, but it is Vanessa Redgrave who steals the movie. Redgrave is wonderful in her portrayal of a woman who chose to follow her head rather than her heart. The scenes between Claire and Lorenzo (played by Redgrave’s real life husband, Franco Nero) are among the best in the film.
Why is Letters to Juliet a Good Film for Tweens?
Letters to Juliet is among the least offensive movie releases of 2010. There is virtually no profanity. The sexual content is limited to a few chaste kisses and some flirtatious banter. There is absolutely no violence. In a time when movies and television programs continue to get edgier and more risqué, Letters to Juliet is refreshing in its innocence.
While there is no question that Letters to Juliet could have been better, the film has its moments and is one of the safest bets for parents looking for the perfect film to see with their young daughters.