Movie Review - PS I Love You (Blog)
Category: P.S. I Love You News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: November 27, 2007 | Publication: The Cat's Paws - Phil Baker's Blog | Author: Phil Baker
Publication/Article Link:The Cat's Paws-Phil Baker's Blog
Renae and I go check a movie about once a week in a promise to ourselves to, well, check a movie together about once a week. We go to a cool, small cinema that spins artsy flicks and flicks one never even hears of afterwards. These, I think, are the best movies to see.
A couple of weeks ago, we scored a couple of free passes from the Plaza Frontenac cine’ for the screening of ‘P.S. I love You’ that showed in a mainstream commercial theater tonight, and hours later it’s fresh in my mind wishing to burst out. Here it is, then:
Free coupon or no free coupon, I felt certain warning signs, such as the film’s title, that led me to believe that this was another convoluted-but-easy-to-anticipate ‘love story’. The inordinate amount of (Warner Brothers) hoopla at the gate made me suspicous that, well, this may be a arduous task to get through…
SIDETRACK: We got two (2) coupons for shoes–NICE coupons, a couple of voucher for free ‘peppermint rubs’ at a posh spa nearby, and for whatever reason, a subscription to a new-and-hip glamour mag, a-la 5th Avenue. I briefly chatted (like, one sentence apiece anyway) with the (promotions) ad lady, who was next to a morning talk-show host (her employer was the StL station KY98, but I forgot her name, but not because she wasn’t very friendly. Rather, it was because I continue to be shitty at names).
…but happily I was wrong. Jennifer (Hillary Swank) and her husband Gerry, (the very Irish Gerard Butler) are cramped in their 5-level Lower Manhattan crib and she was a bit unhappy. She was apprehensive about 1. their being broke, and 2. when, if ever, she was going to have a baby.
The plot had nothing to do with either scenario, though. That opening scene was to illustrate the patience of each toward each other (or more accurately, a man’s patient tolerance of a woman’s occasional storms), and from that, the film laid open wide glimpses of their true colors of closeness.
Woven into the plot were Jennifers’ friend and also her sister, whose diverse personalities entwine uproarisly–there’s a scene where they all are in a long-and-wide skiff out on a Irish loch, waiting for rescue, because they inadventently tossed their oars while trying to land a fish (you had to see it).
Gerry dies, and you don’t really know much about it. Even that event is in the backdrop of the plot.
What is in the forefront of it, though, is a cleverly-timed chain of letters that Jennifer receives from her now-deceased husband. The film doesn’t explicity spell it out, but these letters keep coming and coming. And no, he doesn’t come back to life or anything; instead she draws slow awakening of parts of her character that not only lets her come to s-l-o-w terms with her grief. She also comes together with her mom (the wonderful Kathy Bates) who’s sympathetic embrace, quite late in the story, brings Holly around to finally look around.
The film’s style, it’s grace as it were, is the intertwing of Holly’s memories of Gerry with the present, and there always IS a present–she befriends a Yankee fan who works for her mom, whereupon they decide not to be romantically involved–”yuck! That was like kissing my SISTER!”. Across the pond, where she visits Ireland again to bring Gerry’s belongings to his parents, she hooks up ‘hot and heavily’ (with excellent taste, though–male nudity is now acceptable ‘R-rated’ form as much as the female nude scenes) with a man she soon learns was fond of her late husband. Even her in-laws, who she never met before, are in on the letter chain, and the letters that she becomes (understandingly) intrigued in help her close the gape in her wound.
There’s nice enhancements to the story, without cruel twists and turns. The nice stay nice, the mean sort-of soften, the family quirks accentuate at times like they do in us all…
…and this is one believable, one totally worthy, flick that you should check. Swank, no neophyte, should well further her chances in future fim after the World sees her perform. Butler, the dehiscent talent that we’ll see more of (and hear his singing voice more) will assuredly get some nice contracts thrown his way.
I mention the latter part of this last paragraph because, you see, it’s not just that good movies have happy endings. Good things, you see, happen to the people who make good movies good.