P.S. I Love You (2007) DVD Review
Category: P.S. I Love You Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: May 11, 2008 | Publication: 2snaps.tv | Author: Kelsey Zukowski
P.S. I Love You is the cinematic version of the novel released in 2004 by Cecelia Ahern. They carry out the same essential plot, but the majority of the location is changed. Rather than taking place in Ireland, it is set in New York City, with only a few shots in Ireland, where the deceased husband is from. Although the situation and premise of the movie stays the same as the book, there were some character changes as well as some of the things that went on day to day in the life of the film.
Holly (Swank) is married to an Irish singer, Gerry (Butler). They live in a small apartment in New York City and would like to go on to the next stage as a couple. Gerry wants to start a family, but Holly is very concerned with fully being able to support it. This causes many fights back and forth between them, never really getting resolved. Soon enough though, Holly's family gets even smaller when Gerry dies. Once this happens, Holly shuts down and life just isn't the same for her. She can't get Gerry out of her head and she really doesn't want to. Holly wants him there in some way or another, even if it can never be like it used to be.
On Holly's 30th birthday, some hope appears. It turns out that before Gerry died, he left Holly several letters. He arranged for her to get them at specific times. This was for him to let her really know how he felt about her, to give her some comfort, and to get her back in the world and living her life to the fullest. Many of them had tasks or requests for her, several about having fun and embracing herself. One of these things is to go to Ireland with her friends, Denise (Kudrow) and Sharon (Gershon). Holly's mother, Patricia (Bates), is very hesitant about this though as she thinks this is making things harder for Holly to move on with her life. She decides to go anyway though, where she meets another Irish singer, William (Morgan). They have a very good time together and things escalate quite quickly that night. When Holly gets back she goes in to a break down again, isolating herself from everyone else. She sees her two best friends forming families; one getting married and the other having a baby. Holly can't even bare to talk to them as her jealousy comes over her. Also, she comes to the realization that the letters won't last forever and maybe it's time she learned to be happy with her life and to make the necessary changes in achieving this.
The cast was so-so, some were good, but the majority could have been better. Hilary Swank was horribly miscast here. She does not carry this film like she should have and really doesn't have chemistry with anyone. Swank doesn't work well off of Gerald Butler as her husband. Without this, it is hard not to think that perhaps they weren't really right for each other after all, making it hard to see Holly's position. Swank just didn't convey enough emotion and seemed very lackluster. I know we see Holly in a very devastating time in her life, but Swank played this as a very depressive character. At times, it was just the same old thing and rather than feeling sorry for her, boredom was all we felt, wanting Holly to get on with her life and experience something more interesting. I understand that Hilary Swank is a big name, which helped sell the film, but there were plenty of other actresses with big names who would have been a much better fit. I actually do think s is a good actress and has the potential to show authentic feeling; this just wasn't the role for her.
Lisa Kudrow did alright, but as a whole she got on my nerves. Part of this is just how her character, Denise, was written. She is basically made out to be the female version of a stereotypical male. Denise objectifies men sexually and takes a very direct approach with them, not caring how she makes them feel. Luckily, as the film went along, Denise, dropped this behavior somewhat. When she met a man, who was finally up to her standards, she wasn't concerned with other men. Probably the best performance of the film is by Kathy Bates as Holly's mother, especially as we see her open up. We see her truly being there for her daughter through this seemingly endless hard time in her life. She knows because she has been there since her husband left her years ago, abandoning her with two children to raise on her own. There is so much truth and compassion in Bates' performance, showing us the meaning of the situation.
The male actors did much better than most of the females. Gerald Butler did very well as Gerry. For playing a character who was dead, he exerted a sense of liveliness. Especially when he sings, we see the joy that he has, and that music was such a big part of him. Butler personality brings charm to the film and even the appropriate sorrow. We see Gerry like this and as he pours his heart, energy, and mind in to these letters hoping to help his wife, making the sensitivity of the situation expand. It becomes real and the sadness at hand actually seems to be authentic through him. Jeffrey Dean Martin shared many similar characteristics to Gerry. He was his own character, but he was definitely meant to be a substitute Gerry. Harry Connick Jr. played a possible romantic interest of Holly's. His character, Daniel, did seem like the best match for Holly, even above Gerry. He was unique from Gerry him and seemed to be a lot more like Holly. However, this was the one who Holly would never give a chance. Over a year of trying to get Holly to give him a chance, she never did. Daniel knew where she was coming from, as he felt lonely too. His girlfriend left him for another women, making him feel like a failure and just wanting someone to reach out to that could appreciate him for who he was.
Most of P.S. I Love You, seems static as there are not a lot of changes. Towards the end, things do start to change and there seems to be more true meaning and realism to the film. Also in the beginning of the film, practically the only thing we see of Holly and Gerry as a couple is their fighting. We aren't shown their love, making us doubt that they really loved each other as passionately as they claim. Also, Holly at this point is shown as a typical bitter and angry woman who seems to argue about everything. As this is our first meeting with her, we get the impression automatically that she is unrealistic and not someone we can feel for. Through out the film, Gerry is a more effective character than Holly is. The actual story is what was the strongest point of the movie. It seems unconceivable to imagine our lives with out that one person who is closest to us, who has become a part of who we are. Some people say that they can't live without that person, and this shows a journey of how to go about trying to live even though a part of you has clearly died. Holly was desperately wanting to hold on to Gerry so bad, just wishing they could be with you one last time and then having a piece of him back through letters was like having a small part of that wish. I liked this premise a lot as this was a blessing and a curse at the same time. Although, this seemed like a wonderful thing to have Gerry's words, it made it harder for Holly to get on with her life. Although, P.S. I Love You could have benefited from a better female cast, more truth in the characters and circumstances, I still appreciated the male actors and the liveliness they inserted in to the film, showing the heart and sentiments that the film had, but at times struggled communicating honestly.