Letters to Juliet (2010)

letterstojuliet_2010_poster
Letters to Juliet (2010)
  • Time: 105 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Gary Winick
  • Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave

Storyline:

An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered “letter to Juliet” — one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover’s Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by a the “secretaries of Juliet” — and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter.

One review

  • I have no issue with chick flicks, in fact some of them are my favourite films. I love a good romance especially with a great story, and most importantly great chemistry at the very least between the leading couple but also with the supporting cast. Think Garry Marshall who is the king of chemistry with his casts in this genre. Unfortunately that is exactly where Letters to Juliet falls flat on its face. The characters are downright boring, they have no chemistry with each other and while I don’t necessarily believe the actors are to blame the so called romance between the lead characters is drab and just painful to watch. The blossoming of their romance is barely existent and by the time you reach the climatic proof of love scene you literally don’t care whether they are together or not and that is a real failure in the romantic comedy genre. Co-writers Tim Sullivan and Jose Rivera are not new to writing but they do have an awful lot of experience in Television. My point is the same as it always is when I point that out. Television gives you the opportunity to explore characters and relationships over 5, 6, 7 10 seasons of Televisions…22 Episodes a year. With a feature film you have an hour and a half to jam all that in.

    Amanda Seyfried is a hit and miss actor for me. She has talent, no doubt, and she is a down to earth, watchable performer and has proved herself in hits like Mama Mia or even Dear John, a far superior romantic film. She is cute and likable in this film but her character doesn’t stand out. She has no remarkable personality traits in the film like Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon would perfect most times. Still it isn’t her performance but rather the writing. Gael Garcia Bernal is her distracted fiancé whose character is so incredibly drab. I mean he isn’t meant to be a good guy otherwise falling for someone else would seem inappropriate but he isn’t only distracted his character is downright boring and the chemistry between them is nil. Hollywood legend (over rated in my books) Vanessa Redgrave plays the ageing romantic whose letter is found by Seyfriend. I will say she has more personality to her character than almost everyone else in the film but even still she doesn’t have the power to lift the film out of absurd boredom. However I’ll give her the honour of being the best performance in the film. Christopher Egan is her grandson and the eventual object of Seyfriend’s romantic intentions. And here lies the final nail in the coffin. Egan and Seyfried have zero chemistry, nothing. The romance between them is non-existent. It starts off as the witty love hate banter but nothing ever develops. When the final scene happens you’re wondering when this blossomed and you simply don’t care that the two of them are getting together.

    Further reason why I don’t blame anyone but the writers is that director Gary Winick is fresh from some truly great romantic comedies or chick flicks. Bride Wars, 13 Going On 30…these were ‘chick flicks’ with heart and were fun and fearless and easy to watch. Letters to Juliet feels like a family vacation you don’t want to be on. Just when you think the film will take off you’re simply going in another direction and watching the same thing happen over and over again. The country side is beautiful, Redgrave gives a decent performance and the idea behind the film is actually clever and apparently based on fact but the story should have been edited and edited again by someone with far more talent. Many have said they like this and that’s cool but for me this one was a swing and a miss in its genre. 5/10

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