Amanda Seyfried’s follow up to Mamma Mia takes place in the Mediterranean yet again when she takes on Letters to Juliet with legendary actress Vanessa Redgrave. Despite being in a movie with gorgeous scenery and Italian accents (sans musical revue) Letters to Juliet doesn’t quite do the premise of the film justice.
Sophie takes a trip to Verona, the traditional setting of Romeo and Juliet, with her chef boyfriend/fiancé Victor. Victor’s more interested in the cuisine than his woman and Sophie ends up alone with a bunch of letters.
As extreme coincidence would have it Sophie reads a letter in the House of Juliet in Verona about a British girl who has fallen for an Italian boy. As if manifesting her own journey, Claire the British teenager shows up in the front door as a grandmother. The letter, written in 1957, is amongst the hundreds received in the house on a yearly basis.
Truth Stranger than Fiction
Silly writers, twists are for kids. Vanessa Redgrave, who plays the elderly Claire, is married in real life to Franco Nero who plays her character’s love interest Lorenzo in Letters. The two met on the set of Camelot in 1967 (not 1957 as in the movie) and had been parted since then despite the couple having a child. They married in 2006 proving that love never really dies.
The romance over the years of Redgrave and Franco is a wonderful story of rekindling a love that couldn’t be written any better in a Hollywood script. Alas, unfortunately, that is exactly what some Hollywood writers decided to do. At least they attempted to do such a thing. The premise is romantic, the setting is fabulous, and the time honored tradition of romantic movies in which a lovelorn maiden finds her true spiritual calling makes for fantastic movie making stuff.
Having the two people who actually went through what was scripted clearly means that the movie was based upon them. Perhaps the film would have turned out better had Redgrave and Franco written it. As a writer by trade I can pick out movies that have horrible lines and not much substance and too much style. This movie is exactly that-all romance and no love.
Seyfried is a hot actress as far as acting gigs and the next up and comer to fill the shoes started by Liz Taylor, Julia Roberts, and Ashley Judd. But the girl needs to find some better movies to latch onto if she ever wants to break into something more serious. I don’t think anyone will take her seriously if she’s kissing Megan Fox in the one big movie after she sung about how great her wedding turned out.
No matter how to dress up someone bad acting is still bad acting. Just because Britney Spears can gyrate and look great doesn’t mean she’s a singer. The same is true for As the World Turns alum Seyfried. I just can’t take her seriously yet.