Letters to Juliet

• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave

Summary - 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 the "secretaries of Juliet" -- and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter, and soon finds herself tumbling headlong into a romance of her own.

Cautions - A rude hand gesture and some minor language.

Commentary - Sophie is a burgeoning career woman with great aspirations but saddled with a relationship that she seems to have settled on rather than truly believed in. As she takes on the task to help the much older, Claire, find a long lost love, Sophie learns how important true love is. The turning of this plot point hinges on making her current beau not too likable (so we can root for her to move on) but that creates a lack of belief that she would have ever been with him in the first place. If you are willing to look past that...

Letters to Juliet is a movie that's about as sweet and well-meaning as movies like this come, and its underlying elements that get to the very heart of just what love is and the power it holds over those who have both experienced it and long for it far supersedes the various plot superficialities and transparencies.

"Director Gary Winick's picture is technically well-made and superbly acted, with Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave turning in two memorable and oftentimes touching performances as the leading ladies who are driven to find the same thing at different stages of their lives, with Redgrave becoming something of a motherly figure to Seyfried, her character subtly sharing her experiences in loves won and lost and found again in hopes of guiding her new friend -- her Juliet -- to find her own path towards real, honest, and true love. Letters to Juliet is far better than genre norms would suggest; one need only look past its generalities to find one of the more touching and honest movies of the past few years."
Martin Liebman


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