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Movie Review: P.S., I Love You

Category: P.S. I Love You Reviews
Article Date: December 18, 2007 | Publication: thestate.com | Author: Rick Bentley
Source: http://www.thestate.com/324/story/261159.html

Posted by: stagewomanjen


Seeing "P.S. I Love You" is like dating someone new and having to put up with all of their annoying friends. As long as you can focus on the main relationship, everything progresses at a sweet pace.

The heart of this helium-light romantic comedy is Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) and her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler). Holly dated only one other person before she married Gerry nine years ago. Growing old together seemed the course their love boat was sailing.

Then Gerry dies.

Holly finds herself drowning in a sea of despair. Her friends and family cannot shake Holly from this deep depression. The solution comes in the form of letters from Gerry. Just before he died, Gerry penned a series of notes all designed to help Holly get on with her life.

Swank turns in a passable performance as Holly. It will be hard to watch her work and not think about how an actress like Jennifer Garner could have given the performance a little more depth, especially if you saw Garner's "Catch and Release." That film had a similar theme.

That's because Swank is at her best when she plays flawed characters such as in "Million Dollar Baby." Her performances in those kind of roles come across as more natural. She never comes across as being completely comfortable in this role. This is good work, just not her best.

The best scenes are those that feature Swank and Butler, whether they be flashbacks or just the romantic fantasies of Holly's imagination. This is an 180-degree change for Butler from his brutal work in "300." But he has the Irish charm to make this role work.

There are some very sweet and endearing moments between the two. It is a shame that the movie's key plot point limits Butler's participation.

Had the focus just been the two lovers, this would have been a romantic tale for the ages. The problem is all of the peripheral characters. Lisa Kudrow is reduced to playing another version of her character from "Friends." Harry Connick Jr.'s role as a suitor with no social skills is more painful than playful. And Gina Gershon is wasted as Holly's rather normal best friend.

All of these characters distract from the heart of this movie: the deep love affair.

There have been some major changes from the original novel by Cecelia Ahern, including the addition of all of the sequences in the United States. Director Richard LaGravenese was smart enough to keep some of the Irish elements of the book. And those are some of the better moments in the film.

Like most love affairs, this is not a perfect effort. In the flood of new films opening for the holidays, "P.S. I Love" is without a doubt the best date movie of the bunch.

P.S. I LOVE YOU

Grade: B-minus

 


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