Even though I’d read about this before seeing a trailer for this, all I remember about its release is the charm it exudes. The innocence of the story and its notions is, for the most part, is missing from American cinemas today. This is why Letters to Juliet is a film all romantics should experience.
Letters to Juliet (2011) Film Review
An aspiring journalist, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) works as a “fact-checker” (and the best one her boss has). About to leave on a trip with her fiancé (Gael García Bernal), she’s troubled by how far they’ve drifted apart. Since Victor is about to open a restaurant, the trip’s purpose is for work rather than a romantic getaway. It’s during one of her solo sight-seeing trips that she happens upon the famed wall under Juliet’s balcony. A place where women from all over the world come to write and leave letters for Juliet.
To fill time, Sophie becomes interested in this society and joins Juliet’s “secretaries.” During the missive gathering, Sophie finds a 50-year-old letter tucked beneath a loose stone, from a girl torn between her true love and her family. Deciding to write back, little does Sophie realize her reply will bring the woman (Vanessa Redgrave) to Verona with a newfound passion for revisiting yesteryear.
Much of this film’s charm is its locales. After all, who doesn’t dream of someday visiting European cities? Some will find the story implausible or at the very least too “sappy” for their tastes. Sometimes the “getting there” part may be a bit unrealistic, but the premise sure is sweet. The idea of a love lasting 50 years is made believable give the lovers move on in the in-between, and while it’s never said in so many words, I never get the impression that Claire or Lorenzo pine over the love that was lost to them.
As a kind of coming-of-age “journey” story, both figuratively and literally, Letters to Juliet‘s can be a bit slow. A number of the songs are adorable and suit this production well; particularly country-darling Taylor Swift’s hit “Loves Story.” Locations are gorgeous, most especially a sweet scene in which Charlie and Sophie lie under the stars (so what if the sky is fake, it’s still romantic).
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Then there is the acting, which is superb. Amanda gives the leading lady the sweet innocence Sophie needs, while newcomer Christopher Egan plays well opposite her. No matter the clichés, their interaction are adorable. Meanwhile Vanessa Redgrave is fantastic; she gives the role a practical approach (especially in her handful of scenes with Franco Nero, her real-life love). She and Amanda’s scenes together were precious and emotional.
Suffice to say, I love this entire piece of cinema, and am only disappointed there isn’t a little more to see. Director Gary Winick is the name behind two of my favorite chick flicks, so it does surprise me that this doesn’t take the film to a final almost “epilogue-like” scene. However, the conclusion is such a fairy-tale lovers dream, we forgive all. Call the premise what you will – fantasy, dreamy, impossible, only don’t degrade or argue the fact that this is exactly what it promotes itself as; a charming romance.
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You can find Letters to Juliet digitally on Amazon Video.Letters to Juliet (2010) – Old-Fashioned Storytelling at its Finest. A review of the 2010 film with Amanda Seyfried. Have you seen this lovely movie? #romance #chickflick #movies Click To Tweet
Note: this review was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has also been updated with new photos, and republished.
First published November 14 2011
CONTENT: A couple suggestive implications pop up, but nothing dreadful; there’s a reference to making “passionate love.” Sophie and Victor live together, and share a room together in Italy; there are a few plunging necklines. Although I don’t recall there may be a brief profanity or some British slang. Seeing as Victor is a restaurateur, wine tastings are prevalent, and I cannot remember a meal that didn’t involve a glass of wine of some sort. The film is PG.