Movie review: PS I Love You
Category: P.S. I Love You Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: December 21, 2007 | Publication: Independent.ie | Author: Paul Whitington
From the moment of its conception, this film had all the hallmarks of a stinker. Based on the debut novel of our leader's daughter, it was an Irish romance destined for the dreaded Hollywood treatment. They would shoot part of it here -- always a bad sign -- and Hilary Swank, noted for portraying boxers, would play the girly widow. The possibilities for disaster seemed endless.
Strange to relate, the result, directed by Richard LaGravenese from his own snappy screenplay, is surprisingly likeable, despite leading man Gerald Butler's indictable Irish accent. Swank is Holly Kennedy, who at the start of the film is frustrated with her happy-go-lucky Irish husband Gerry. She loves him, but thinks they should be doing better.
We cut to six months later, and Holly is standing shellshocked at Gerry's wake in a New York Irish pub. After his funeral she goes into a tailspin, staying at home and talking to him as if he was there.
Help arrives from an unexpected quarter. A letter arrives from Gerry, telling her to go out with friends, and how she should celebrate. Turns out, he's left a whole sequence of them. He knew she would retreat from the world, and so wrote these letters to help her adjust to life without him.
That was the modestly clever premise of Ms Ahern's novel, and it's just about enough to keep this sweet, but not overly sentimental, romantic comedy ticking over, helped by some very handy performances.
Swank is better than one would think at the girly stuff. Lisa Kudrow has a cameo as a friend with a terrifying chat-up routine. And Kathy Bates provides heavy-hitting back-up. And Ireland looks so enticing that I almost wished I lived there.