P.S., I Love You (blog)

Category: P.S. I Love You Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: June 5, 2008 | Publication: blogspot.com | Author: KLAXXON
Publication/Article Link:http://theklaxxon.blogspot.com/2008/06/ps-i-love-you.html

Childhood sweethearts Holly and Gerry could finish each other's sentences. No-one could imagine them apart. Until, that is, the unthinkable happens and Holly is faced with the prospect of spending the rest of her life without her husband. Then, one day, a light appears at the end of the tunnel in the form of a surprise letter Secretly, Gerry has left her a series of notes written before he died - delivered one per month - to gently guide Holly into her new life, each finishing with: PS. I love you. Based on the international best-selling novel by Cecelia Ahern and starring Oscar-winner Hilary Swank and an A-list supporting cast including Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kathy Bates and Harry Connick Jr., P.S. I Love You is a feel-good comedy that will warm your heart.

“Why do I have to be the responsible grown up who worries? Why can't I be the cute, carefree Irish guy who sings all the time?”

Trust me, only the family sized box of tissues will surface for this one, as the new romantic drama ‘P.S. I Love You’ is sure to leave you polishing the eyeballs for days after watching. Based on a Cecilia Ahem novel, this is a heart felt story about a young couple in love and how that bond can continue on through anything.

Ok stop for a second, how many romantic letters have you received in your life? I asked a girl out once and she wrote me a letter, it merely read;

That was a joke right? I mean no way.
P.S. I’m serious, no freakin way.

Ahhh memories… well I think the problem today is that a lot of the time it’s considered old fashioned to put pen to paper and pour out your heart to someone you like. Probably not ever going to see James Bond inking up a feather quill when he wants to seduce someone either, but yet receiving one can make us light up like pink bunny rabbits.

Perhaps this is and always has been the way to go, we just need to utilise this method of communication a bit more. This movie contains a plethora of beautiful letters so feel free to start right here.

In the film we are quickly introduced to Holly (Hilary Swank) and Irish lad Gerry (Gerard Butler) who are a married couple madly in love. When Gerry dies of a brain tumour, Holly is devastated, unsure of her future in both life and love. While friends (Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow), family (Kathy Bates), and lovesick strangers (Harry Connick Jr.) are there to offer support, Holly feels alone until the day a letter arrives from Gerry, promising great adventures to come.

It seems that before he died Gerry arranged a series of dares and trips and letters to arrive over the course of the following year, to comfort Holly and help her adjust to a new life without him and it’s here that the tears commence. Every letter seems to be just as charming and as moving as the last.

I quite liked the idea behind this movie. Giving someone hope and strength is a difficult thing to do when they feel like they are at the bottom so watching Holly’s reaction to the letters is a very uplifting thing to see. I’d recommend this to people who enjoyed films like Ghost and Waitress as it has a lot of the same hopeful essences. Enjoy.

The love letter: the pinnacle in the art of wooing. Often, the writer cringes in retrospect when the receiver dusts them off and brings them out for a dose of reminiscing. The reason for cringing is simple: the mind flows freely when writing a love letter. The end result is a mix of cheese and mush that although honest, is embarrassing nonetheless. Richard LaGravense's P.S. I Love You has plenty of sappy love-letter moments, but it's also a very touching and real-feeling look at the grieving process. Now if only all love letters evoked such a real sense of the world rather than some fogged up version blurred by doe eyes.

Based on the best-selling novel by Ceceila Ahern, P.S. I Love You follows Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) as she comes to grips with entering middle-aged life without her husband at her side. The victim of a sudden brain tumor, her partner Gerry (Gerard Butler) wrote Holly a series of letters to help her get through his passing and experience life in all its adventurous glory. Through the letters, Holly gets closer to her friends and family, embarks on adventures and discovers that love can be eternal, even if the object of one's affection isn't there to share it.

The film begins with Gerry very much alive. He and Holly are embroiled in a loving argument much like many married couples have been through. Kids or no kids? Unhappy at the old job or try for another? Live modestly and save for a new home or stick with the cluttered old one? Voices are raised, doors are slammed but at the end of the day the deal is sealed with a kiss. This scene shows that Holly and Gerry were very much in love, despite their obvious differences. It sets the film in a believable world and brings you closer to both characters. So when the next scene begins and it's obvious that Gerry is in the decked out urn, you immediately understand the new level of Holly's emotional turmoil.

The progression in the film comes from Holly's journey that is initiated by Gerry's letters he wrote for her shortly before his passing. Taken individually and these scenes are somewhat interchangeable. But when you put them all together, the touching emotional core of the film comes through.

The film's structure is straightforward yet different. Holly's memories lead seamlessly into several flashbacks where all of a sudden she's back with Gerry. These build their courtship and subsequent marriage. In reflecting, Holly is able to realize where she has come from and see all that she learned from her husband, even if they didn't always see things the same way.

It's refreshing to see Swank in a more fragile role than we normally see her in. She is a tremendous talent who is frequently placed in more physical roles. Swank does an excellent job with all of the various angles to Holly's character given the large number of highs and lows that the film covers. She is joined by a strong ensemble cast that also includes Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon and Harry Connick, Jr.

P.S. I Love You takes a non-traditional route by encouraging tissue use at the start of the film. Rather than let up, it builds a sense of genuine loss and in between chuckles you'll likely find yourself dabbing your damp eyes for the duration of the movie.

While nobody can predict when death will pay them a visit and cut their life short, according to the movie P.S. I Love You, with some applied imagination and strategic planning in advance, you might be able to cheat the Grim Reaper just a little. Or in this case at least, from beyond the grave.

Not that this morbid premise sounds like ideal material for a fanciful romantic comedy. But filmmaker Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, The Bridges Of Madison County) takes up the challenge of juggling this life and the next for laughs, and awkwardly negotiates an often less than plausible common ground between the best of both worlds, such as they may be.

Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler are Holly and Gerry in P.S. I Love You, a stressed out young Manhattan couple into marriage meltdown at the moment, as they brawl verbally about Holly's tendency towards too much shopping, not enough 'hot, nasty sex' on their weekly to-do list, Gerry's unsexy slacker attitude toward vocational ambition, whether or not they forgot to have children along the way, and might this be very well all that there is out of life. In the midst of Holly's nightly nagging and lingering doubts about their relationship, happy-go-lucky Irish rocker import Gerry suddenly kicks the bucket. Which leaves Holly in a deep funk of guilt-ridden regret and inconsolable misery.

While concerned mom Patricia (Kathy Bates) and caring best girlfriends Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon) have no success getting Holly to dispel those full-time blues, the sudden, mysterious delivery of a series of letters from late hubby Gerry, slowly work their magic in snapping their glum gal pal out of her depressed state. The letters function like a 12-step program presumably mailed from the afterlife, nudging the stricken widow back to normalcy and even a little potential new romance. The tragicomic healing process culminates in no less than two trips back to Ireland where the couple first met, where Mom and Holly embark on a weird adventure together, to go pick up men.

P.S. I Love You and its dead letter collection plot device is far too overdone, and feels dramatically energy-inefficient and contrived to begin with. Much more effective is LaGravenese's sensitive physical and emotional layering of the complex unraveling of grief as a state of mind. And Swank gets it just right with a fine-tuned subtle expression of confusion, despondency and rage, though Holly's overly extended cranky self-pity party eventually wears out its welcome, for the characters and audience alike.

And it never quite makes sense why Holly isn't turned on by the persistent advances of the infatuated hunk played by Harry Connick Jr., even if the guy's on the eccentric side, as when he invades her private space in the local pub's john to present her with the heart he wears a little too prominently on his sleeve. In any case, P.S. I Love You could have done with a lot less of a sense of being on rewind as each posthumous letter arrives, and every time a romantic urge or mental mood swing gets reshuffled.