Letters to Juliet
Post Mamma Mia and Dear John, Amanda Seyfried’s reputation as rising star of drippy romances is confirmed by this airy, lightweight trifle which takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and, more peculiarly, the alleged phenomenon of many lovelorn people writing letters to said Juliet.
Seyfried plays Sophie, a fact checker for The New Yorker magazine who, while on a pre-honeymoon trip to Verona with her selfish restaurateur boyfriend (Gael Garcia Bernal), discovers and unanswered letter on the wall below Juliet’s balcony. Sophie discovers the letter was written fifty years ago by Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) after a holiday romance. The two women set out to find Claire’s lost love Lorenzo, while Sophie falls for Claire’s son Charlie (Christopher Egan).
Despite a mixed track record encompassing the sublime – 13 Going On 30 and the awful Bride Wars, director Gary Winick wisely reins in Letters to Juliet’s misfiring comic elements and identifies a strong dramatic centre in Redgrave’s performance. And when Lorenzo turns out to be played by the great Franco Nero, Redgrave’s real life husband, Winick’s slush-fest confirms itself as a guilty pleasure for star-crossed lovers of all ages.
General release from Wed 9 Jun.