Letters to Juliet DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 4.5
Video 5.0
Audio 4.0
Special Features 5.0
Total 5.0
Distributor: Sony
Classification: PG
Minutes: 101 minutes
Reviewer: Hannah Lee

5.0


Letters to Juliet

Confessions of love are difficult to express. This is why women from all over the world come to visit a particular courtyard in Verona, Italy, dedicated to Shakespeare’s Juliet, leaving behind letters that seek advice in matters of love. I too would very much like to make a confession regarding an affair I’ve had with Letters to Juliet – possibly one of the cheesiest romantic comedies to be released this year, and yet, one that I couldn’t help enjoying against my better judgement.  

Sophie (Amana Seyfried) is a fact checker/wannabe journalist who goes on what is meant to be a romantic holiday to Italy with her fiancé, Victor (Gael García Bernal). Abandoned by Victor due to his work commitments, Sophie discovers the courtyard of love-angst ridden letters addressed to Romeo’s Juliet, which are then collected and responded to by a group of women who call themselves ‘the secretaries of Juliet.’ Upon discovering a letter that had been untouched and unanswered for fifty years, Sophie’s reply inspires the letter’s author, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave), to return to Italy and find her lost love with Sophie’s help. Accompanied by her grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan), who happens to be a sceptic about true love, the three embark on a road trip that tests their views, hopes and ideals when it comes to real romance.  

The film is definitely a miss, but a hit in being such an awful film. With lines such as “Do you believe in destiny?” combined with tearful look-aways, Letters to Juliet stays true to simply being nothing more than a terrible romantic flick as it doesn’t overreach in comedy or make an effort to overcome clichés. It’s easy to watch with a dead brain and low expectations, and since this is what some people look for in a film, Letters to Juliet more than adequately fulfils that demand. With scenic shots of the Italian countryside that look as though they came straight out of a tourism brochure, and a smooth, comfortable Hollywood style of editing, Letters to Juliet doesn’t experiment visually in any way, shape or form – something that audiences have come to expect and accept when it comes to romantic comedies of today. To put it simply - Letters to Juliet is the kind of movie that unashamedly belts out Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ when it comes to climactic moments. And with soaring classical music that highlights idealistic notions of love, every note and shot is struck in accordance with the themes of the film and the atmosphere of a romanticised Italy. 

If you’re a rom-com cynic and end up hating the film, I wouldn’t recommend the special features. With detailed interviews of director Gary Winick, producer Ellen Barkin and the cast, the making of Letters to Juliet covers everything from the original concept, casting decisions, Italy as a location for shooting, and even what the cast and crew think of love. It all seems a bit soppy and as deluded as the film itself, but the special features also includes the history and story behind Juliet’s courtyard, which is not only genuinely interesting but additionally sheds light on the appeal of the film and what would have inspired the cast and crew to make the film in the first place.  

While rom-com lovers may embrace the film, I feel unwell from the experience and doubly guilty for not verbally stabbing it in the heart. Am I suppressing an attraction for chick flicks?! For those who crave cheesy lines and overtly sentimental romances, you will fall in love. For those of you, like me, who are a little more cynical with acute gag reflexes to rom-coms, dare yourself to take a fling with Letters to Juliet. Who knows, you might end up loving it.






 
 



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