Letters to Juliet (2010) - Old-Fashion Storytelling at its Finest

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Letters to Juliet

Even though I’d read a plot synopsis of this before seeing a Letters to Juliet trailer, all I remember about its release was the charm it exuded. The innocence of the story and its notions is, for the most part, missing from American cinemas today. This is why Letters to Juliet is a film all romantics should experience. 

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, Victor (Gael García Bernal), she's troubled by how far they've drifted apart. Since Victor is in the process of opening a restaurant, the trip's purpose is more for his work 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.

Finding the time without Victor, Sophie becomes interested in this society and joins Juliet’s “secretaries” in writing back to those that provide addresses. During the gathering of the missives, 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 her youth.

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 by the two lovers having moved on in the in-between with their respective lives, and while it’s never said in so many words, I never got the impression that Claire or Lorenzo pined over the love that was lost to them. 

Letters to Juliet

As a kind of coming-of-age “journey” story, both figuratively and literally, Letters to Juliet's pace 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 are lying out under the stars (so what if the sky was fake, it's still romantic).

Then there is the acting, which is superb. Amanda gives the leading lady the sweet innocence Sophie needed, while newcomer Christopher Egan played well opposite her. No matter the clichés, I found their interaction 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.

Letters to Juliet

Suffice to say, I loved this entire piece of cinema delight, and was only disappointed there wasn’t a little more to it. Director Gary Winick is the name behind two of my favorite chick flicks, so it rather surprised me that this didn’t take the film to that final almost “epilogue-like” scene. However, the conclusion is such a fairy-tale lovers dream, well, all is forgiven. Call the premise what you will – fantasy, dreamy, impossible, only don’t degrade or argue the fact that this is exactly what it promoted itself as, and set out to be: charming.

CONTENT: A couple suggestive implications pop up, but nothing dreadful; a passing reference is made about making “passionate love.” Sophie and Victor apparently live together, and we see they share a room together in Italy; there are a few plunging necklines. Although I don’t recall there may be a brief scattered profanities like 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 rated PG.


  1. very helpful! i wasn't sure whether or not i should see this movie. thanks!

  2. Oh! I am so glad, Jessica.

    I absolutely love this little movie, so I hope you do get opportunity to see it. =) In my humble opinion, you totally should see "Letters to Juliet." =D

  3. I like this movie. It's sweet. =)

  4. Gah!!i love this movie :) my fave chic flick!! I wrote a review on it too!

  5. Charity - my thoughts exactly. =)

    Raquel - cool! I am so glad you like this one, I do too. =)

    Oh, I haven't seen your review of it, but maybe I'll look it up next time I visit your blog. =)

  6. Sounds perfect for me. And I LOOOOOOOVE seeing exotic places in movies.

  7. What?? You've not see this one yet!? Oh, my gosh, then this is just your kind of movie, Juju!

    I love this little charmer - it isn't all that intelligent (meaning there are cliches) but I find it enchanting each time I watch it. Enjoy. =)

  8. I LOVE this movie! I can watch it again and again! So sweet :))

  9. I know, this is such a sweet movie, Bea! I couldn't agree more. =)

    Thanks bunches for following my blog - I hope you enjoy your visits at Scribbles, Scripts and Such. =)


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