Film: ‘Letters To Juliet’;
Director: Gary Winick;
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, Christopher Egan;
Viewers have a right to suspect any film whose name carries either the word Romeo or Juliet. After all, what was that story but a tall tale of two teenage lovers. What made the story soar nonetheless was the brilliant writing of the bard. ‘Letters To Juliet’, sadly, does not have the privilege of Shakespeare writing the story.
Sophie (Seyfried) is on a pre-wedding trip with her fiance in Italy when she 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 so-called ‘secretaries of Juliet’, She goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter.
Sophie answers the 50-year-old unanswered letter and days later the woman flies down with her grandson Charlie (Egan).
Sophie, an aspiring writer, tries to help the woman find her long lost lover. In the process however, she falls in love with Charlie even as her uncaring fiance is busy with his own exploration. This only complicates her life further.
On the face of it, there is no problem with ‘Letters To Juliet’ if that is you have never seen a romantic-comedy. If you are one among the millions who have, you will be disappointed. That is how predictable this film is.
What is worse is the concept of true love harped again and again, in sometimes mundane and, at other times bright lines. Does the world indeed need that juvenile concept of love between man and woman, or is it time for ‘The Bard’ to be reborn and write something that is more in tune with the times?
Amanda Seyfried as Sophie is as best as the role demands in her one dimensional portrait. The actor who soars is however Gael Garcia Bernal as Sophie’s fiance Victor who excels in his role. Director Gary Winick re-enters his favourite genre – the mindless rom-com. However, despite his best attempt, he cannot salvage a sinking ship.
Yet, as we all know, there is a certain comfort in familiarity. The cliches may thus help some viewers enjoy the movie, rather than hamper it.