Archive for Vanessa Redgrave

Letters to Juliet – 2010

Posted in 2010, Drama, Romance with tags , , , on December 12, 2010 by filmglutton

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is a wannabe writer at the New Yorker who is about to get married to her boyfriend Victor. Victor is busy with preparations to open his own restaurant. They take a pre-wedding honeymoon to Verona, Italy, where Victor goes to a lot of wineries and food places and Sophie is left to explore the city alone. While at the House of Juliet in Verona – where women have been leaving lovelorn letters for decades – Sophie finds a letter written by an Englishwoman named Claire 50 years earlier. After Sophie posts a reply, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) arrives in Verona with her grandson Charlie (Chris Egan) to find her long-lost love Lorenzo. Sophie sees the opportunity for a good story, but doesn’t anticipate her growing attraction to Charlie…

 

It’s unfortunate that Amanda Seyfried is terribly dull in this film. I’ve seen her in other roles in which she had much more ‘spark’, so I don’t know if it’s her fault or the fault of the director/screenwriter. But what this film really needed was a strong heroine. It doesn’t matter if that heroine is unsure or confused, but it needs to be someone we bond with and want to succeed. As it is, Seyfried just drifts through the clichéd screenplay with little pizzazz and we can’t feel anything but ambivalent. Her co-stars are not much better. The usually wonderful Vanessa Redgrave has little to do here,  but she is the most watchable of the actors. Chris Egan manages a barely passable English accent.

 

The screenplay has all the usual clichés, but at least it has more heart than a lot of the romantic comedies that come out (you know, movies like Bride Wars with truly deplorable lead characters). There are no prizes for guessing how the film will end, and chances are you will be able to finish the characters’ sentences. The plot is pretty thin and most of the characters aren’t fleshed out very well.

This is not a terrible film, but it can never be better than mediocre because that’s all it aims for. Teenage girls will probably get the most enjoyment out of this, because they might be able to connect with the (shallow) romances in the film. That’s no offence to teen girls – I can just imagine myself enjoying this film 6 or 7 years ago. As far as a weekend out with Mum and Grandma, this film is not a bad choice because it appeals to the different generations. My mum and I enjoyed it a bit (I really only mean a bit – as in, we didn’t walk out). If you are a man, do not watch this. The sappiness might kill you. You have been warned.

My rating: