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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movie Review: Letters to Juliet - REPOST

I have seen this romantic flick more than twice and I just love its plot, story, and setting. Perhaps, the medieval guy in me rose up to appreciate again historic affiliation in this movie.

Some of you might find it too early of a February post. It’s sort of like an advance attempt to set everyone’s mood for the “heart's month”. Whether it’s too early or just in time, it’s for your judgment anyway. After all, I know after reading my review some if not many of you will look for a downloaded copy, or a Blu-Ray or a DVD copy of it and satisfy your beaming interest to watch it.

This one is a re-post from an almost two years ago entry. I will just update some text contents in it to cater to the current time.

It is imperative amongst us how we had our love story. How we start to feel when someone romantically caught our interest. Sometimes, we develop a particular fondness for the person we’re dating. We just can’t stop thinking about him/her, even after many, many hours savoring his/her company. We are left in a quandary about our feelings and certain queasiness pervades our days. Then we ask ourselves the question: “Have I fallen in love to that person”? 

Love is a wonderful thing. But it is something that we should be certain about, least we spend many sleepless night in deep thoughts and confusion. Sadly, determining the veracity of love is not always easy. Sometimes, a deep infatuation is equated with the same.

So how do we know that it’s love? A real love that is? What could we be sure that the other person is not only the object of our thoughts but the object of our hearts as well?

Before I might get lost into translation, let us proceed with the review:


Amanda Seyfried  as "Sophie"
Christopher Egan as "Charlie"
Gael Garcia Bernal as "Victor"
Vanessa Redgrave as "Claire"

Letters to Juliet is a movie for the romantics out there. It was exactly what it advertised itself as and precisely what I hoped it would be: sweet, charming, and poignant. Considering how many movies have been disappointments several years ago. I was quite pleased to get a movie that delivered on its promises.

Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) starred as an American girl on a "pre-marriage honeymoon" in Verona with her fiance Gael Garcia Bernal (Victor), who gets drawn into writing for the Secretaries of Juliet - women who reply to the letters left to Juliet beneath "her" balcony. Sophie stumbles unto a letter from 50 years ago and feels compelled to reply, only to have the woman herself (Claire, played by Vanessa Redgrave) and her grandson Charlie (played by Christopher Egan) come to Verona as soon as they receive the letter. Claire had been a student there for the summer who fell in love with a boy named Lorenzo, but instead of meeting him to run away together she went back to Eng;and. Now a widow, she received Sophie's letter and decided she wants to find Lorenzo again. Sophie, abandoned by her fiance in favor of a wine auction and various vendors he want to use for his new restaurant, decides to accompany Claire on the road trip around Tuscany to help her find her Lorenzo. 

One thing I will say about this movie and its advertising - you shouldn't go into the theater expecting to be surprised. They meet  lot of Lorenzo Bertolinis who aren't Claire's Lorenzo before they find him (not a spoiler because one of the previews showed that moment!0, and there is an attraction between Sophie and Charlie that may be destiny or may be nothing more than the excitement and romance of such a journey. The only questions (and no! I won;t answer them other than to say the movie does not end in tears) are whether the Lorenzo remembers Vlaire and whether Sophie and Charlie are really falling in love or just sharing an unforgettable experience. 

As you might see from the premise, this is a movie with cross-generational appeal. It's one I will definitely show to my mom and grandmother, for the story as well as the lack of both raunch and slapstick. As far as romantic movies go, it's not as totally unfriendly to men as most as most of them. Mine chuckled in a few places and out giving it a grade of "it passes barely" which is high praise for a romance. The views of the Italian countryside are sweeping and hazy and beautiful, and the story of Claie and Lorenzo is achingly sweet (and by far the more romantic of the two). Amanda Seyfried was charming and light, as she usually is, and Chris Egan was arrogant and stuffy but not far enough departed from David Shepherd to prevent me from worrying he might typecast himself. I hope he doesn't - because I think he has serious star potential and I want to keep seeing him in movies for years to come. Vanessa Redgrave played Claire brilliantly -- a woman who has lived her life without regrets, despite choices that might have been mistakes, and is now hoping to have one more adventure her gray hair and age-earned dignity. 

Some of the funniest moments in the film were the interplay between Claire and Sophie having "girl talk" and Charlie being uncomfortable with it "My grandfather was his soul mate and thank for trying to invalidate my entire existence!" he exclaimed at one point, and at another he has to leave the conversation because he can't listen to his grandmother recalling the romance and sensuality of her summer with Lorenzo. The other amusing moments came from some of the different Lorenzos they meet along the way. A few were sad, forgetful old men in homes or even in one case a recent grave. But others were hilarious -- the one whose wife tells Claire to "take him!" for example, and the one who answers the question of "what were you doing the summer of 1957?" with a tirade about how he met his wife that horrible summer and curses them for reminding him of that terrible occasion.

If I wanted to be really picky I could find two flaws: One, there is a very little reason given for why Sophie and Charlie are drawn to one another - but this is a flaw in almost every romantic movies ever made (I mean, they can't all be Secretaries of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - haha!). So, I didn't find it a deal-breaker. Also, once I thought about the movie - and it was one that kept me thinking about it - I realized that it might have been trying for subtlety rather than being irritatingly vague. And if that's the case then I didn't mind having to read between the lines a bit. Second, the ending scene was weak and as much as it tried to step around the cliche of having Sophie on a balcony hearing a profession of love by having the characters laugh at the positioning it didn't quite keep me from rolling my eyes. But neither of those problems are unexpected in romantic movies. It neither stopped me from walking out with a smile and thinking about the movie for a while.

To come into a close, Letters to Juliet accomplishes what it sets out to and if you look at the premise of this movie and want to see it, I don't think the execution will disappoint you. So put on a sundress and sneak a bottle of wine and enjoy the journey through Italy and a love that crosses time and oceans.

I'll be seeing the film again and again with my lovely wife around me over a popcorn or anything savory enough to nibble.

So there it goes guys! I hope I satisfied you well with how I dissect almost every inch of the story. If you find it as a spoiler, I still urge you to see the movie yourself and slap me with your own critique's review - hehe.

By the way, Amanda Seyfried is a hottie - a complete turn on. Whew! no guys can resist her charm. She is adorable. I have a big crush on her. But let me clear it with you - my all time crush is only Kirstin Kreuk of "Smallville" 

Have time to watch it and experience to be in love again.

Photo credit from the Internet


  1. This is one of my favorite movies :) Love how you reviewed it, especially with your insight on falling in love :)

  2. gusto ko yang movie na yan.

    parang masarap panoorin ulit :)

  3. napaka ganda nito jay
    i enjoyed this movie!
    napaka inspiring lalo na ung
    letter na ginawa ni sophie
    para kay claire un "what and if"

    and yeah Amanda is really hot and gorgeous

  4. I love this movie as well. I even wrote a letter to Juliet myself coz of this. She granted my wish.

  5. Di ko pa napanood to. Based on your review mukhang maganda. Pag-uwi ko bibili ako ng DVD nito. lol

  6. Ang ganda ng movie na to! :) Parang gusto ko tuloy ulitin! HAHAHAH!

  7. The question of love whether the person is just an object of our thoughts or the object of our heart is a difficult thing to answer. In my case, I do ask for a sign, is this the real thing? Unfortunately, it becomes oly an object of my thoughts. Early post for love month, nah, everyday should be a love filled day. Great review!

  8. I like this movie because of three things. The title, the setting and the whole movie set expectation from end to beginning - it's a
    ROMANTIC movie from start to THE END.

    The title
    I'm a big Shakespeare fan-lover-liker-hater-whatever. Though back in college I used to call him "murderer" lol. Hey don't blame! Remember how everybody dies in his tragedies? (I know I know that is why it's called tragedies - but stilll...) Anyway so much for that and back to the movie title which obviously is Shakespeare-
    inspired. At the start of the movie I was actually guessing if Charlie and Sophie will die. Of course later I found out they are not as idiot as the famous lovers waha ha ha good for them.
    So to whoever created this title - I say "clever" ;)

    The setting
    Verona Italy, whew! One of my unspoken "wish to be there". Apart from being another "Shakespeare thing", each scene showing Italy's breathtaking views simply made me relax and mesmerized. Some scenes doesn't even need acting or talking from the characters especially those countryside shots...
    This is also half the reason why I love the movie "P.S. I love You". I so love the scenes shot from Ireland.

    The "set expectation" thing - I have rules before I can totally like the movie apart from me being entertained. I hate mixed theme especially if there's no perfect transition. I hate the "htf-it-happened?" (whoops!). Perfect example is Tom Cruise' "Vanlla Sky- yaiks!

    I enjoyed your movie review. The movie was dissected to the last bone and muscle lol.

    I think we're on the same page here when you said that "a movie that delivered on it's promise". Perfect!

    Yeah the romance of Claire and Lorenzo is the more endearing part. Young love that didn't bloom, tumanda na nandyan pa rin at hinahanap-hanap. Feeling ko lang kay Claire can't wait to be widowed para masimulan na ang paghahanap kay Lorenzo - dyuk!
    And I was really LOL on the wife giving away her Lorenzo during one of the Loenzo's hunt scene. Ha ha ha pinapamigay na si lolo!

    Why are you questioning why Sophie and Charlie are drawn to each other? Here's my reason and it could really happen in real life. One: they are both single trapped in a romantic place. Two: Sophie goes along with Charlie's grannie who took over Charlie's moms role. Well you know men and boys, they are instantly drawn to girls/women who get along well with their moms (Mama's Boy) :P.

    And lesson for men: "Don't leave your girlfriends un-attended!" especially if she's as hot as Amanda Seyffried who's the name "Sophie" seemed perfect for her because she has the same name in the 2008 movie musical Mama Mia. She is really hot!
    For your all time crush Kristin Kreuk sorry I don't really find her that "it". But she's perfect as Lana in Smallville yun lang. Ikaw naman pumi-feeling Clark Kent ka lang ganun! waha ha ha ha

    So you watched the movie more than twice eh? (Grinning). Don't use the "wifey" and the "medieval guy as alibis. I bet you will watch it again and again while you're away from home and alone. You love the movie duh! :P

    And oh! I saw there's a mention about the movie "Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind". Wow! I found another rare soul who knows this movie LOL! This movie is in my "The Top 20 Movie that I Like Most"! Am officially filing my request here - can you make a movie review about it? I am trying to but I'm dissecting this movie like a Shakespeare tragedy :(

    Btw, deja vu ame soeur? LOL :P


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