Letters to Juliet is a total chick flick but (thankfully) not a weep-fest, so you can leave the tissues at home and bring on the popcorn! The consensus among the audience of mostly women – of varying ages – was that the movie was “cute”, and I concur. It’s not great. It’s not high art. It’s not particularly thought-provoking. But it is indeed cute. And it definitely left me itching to embark on a road-trip across Italy. (Who’s in?!)
The movie tells the story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), a fact-checker and writer wannabe for a New York magazine who heads to Verona, Italy for a “pre-honeymoon” with her restaurateur fiancé, Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). While Victor is preoccupied with foodie stuff (this is Italy, after-all), Sophie befriends – and joins- a group of women volunteers who answer letters seeking romantic advice from Juliet at the very place where she supposedly met her Romeo.
Sophie finds, and responds to, a letter that was written to Juliet 50 years earlier by a woman named Claire (played with marvelous charm by veteran British actress Vanessa Redgrave). The European mail system must be magically fast, because next thing you know, Claire and her cynical and protective grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) are at Sophie’s doorstep and the trio embark on a road-trip across Tuscany in search of Claire’s long-lost first love, Lorenzo.
The movie is a solid romantic comedy/drama that occasionally drifts into cheesiness but never takes itself too seriously. Amanda Seyfried must be the new Meg Ryan because she seems to pop up in more than her share of romcom and romdrams these days, including the fairly recent Dear John (What’s with this chick and letters?). Christopher Egan as Charlie reminds me of a young Simon Baker, and that’s a good thing. In fact, most all the characters are cute and sweet, much like the movie itself. Letters to Juliet is a nice, good-natured, romantic flick that should be paired with a good Italian meal, and wine.