McCoy on Movies: "Letters to Juliet" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tabari McCoy   
Monday, 17 May 2010 01:39

McCoy on Movies: "Letters to Juliet"
Amanda Seyfried stars in a new romantic comedy inspired by one of William Shakespeare's most famous characters. But is the film to be or not to be? See what our movie critic says.

"Letters to Juliet"

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal, Christopher Egan, Milena Vukotic, Lidia Biondi, Marina Massironi, Luisa Ranieri and about 6 minutes of Oliver Platt


WRITER: Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan


DIRECTOR: Gary Winick




THE PLOT: "Letters to Juliet" stars the wide-eyed Amanda Seyfried as Sophie, a fact-checker who works under her boss (Oliver Platt) at The New Yorker. Sophie wants to be more than a fact-checker, though, as she longs to be a writer.


For the meantime, however, she will just have to settle for being the fiancé of Victor (Gael García Bernal), an aspiring restaurateur whose love of food and wine rivals that for his love of Sophie. Set to soon be married, the couple decides to take a trip to Verona, Italy, as a pre-honeymoon. (In this economy? Only in the movies!) Arriving in town, Sophie is instantly enthralled once she comes across the "Secretaries of Juliet," a group of ladies who collect letters written by women to William Shakespeare's famous fictional character seeking romantic advice. (Yes, it's a real group!)


Sophie — who has plenty of time to herself while Victor scurries along the Italian countryside — decides to spend her time answering some letters of her own. Finding a very old letter in a very unexpected place (semi-spoiler alert!), Sophie writes its sender back, which results in Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) showing up in Verona with her driver/grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan). While Claire is hoping to track down her long lost love Lorenzo some 50 years later, Charlie, is not quite so optimistic.


And once Sophie decides to tag along on the journey to write about the adventure, none of their lives may ever be the same again.


THE TAKE: First off, I know one thing about this movie: It will single-handedly cause an increase in airline tickets to Verona, Italy. The cinematography is beautiful and the romantic nature of the area will be a boon for travel agents. I must, however, follow that up with the fact that the movie offers everything like sappy music, outcomes and situations that seem highly implausible in a movie where the situations are supposed to take place within realistic settings, men who always say the most perfect romantic thing and know when to do it despite earlier scenes where they could NOT have been more clueless about their behavior and humor that at times is very sitcom standard in nature versus truly hilarious.


All those things aside, "Juliet" delivers what it sets out to offer: a light-hearted romance with a bit of comedy that will make you smile. There's nothing particularly dynamic about the film. The acting is palatable, particularly in Regrave's case, as she brings a nice light-hearted touch to a role that demands one for the film to work on any level. Her performance is inspired enough to carry the film. (I also predict that I won't be the only one who wonders if Egan will match Heath Ledger's talent since he already is a British doppelgänger for him physically.) In short, if you are in the market for a movie that's cute, unoffensive and easy on the senses, you will meet"Letters to Juliet" with a welcome reception — unless you have a lot of testosterone in your system, that is!












Photographer: Joe Johnson

Copyright © Summit Entertainment, LLC.

Tabari McCoy -

Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. You can check out more of his work on his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy


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