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Posts Tagged ‘Vanessa Redgrave’

In celebration of our first anniversary (April 1972), Sherrylee and I drove our little Chrysler Simca down the autobahn from our home in Munich, Germany, to the city of Verona in northern Italy. It was just far enough away that we could do this on a long weekend and a short budget. And since both of us were English majors, well what more needs to be said.

Perhaps this is the reason that we saw Letters To Juliet last night when we could have seen Robin Hood. We don’t go to much fluff, having avoided all the latest round of Nicholas Spark tear-jerkers and their lookalikes. Perhaps it was that we had my in-laws with us, and they hardly go to the movies at all. When both of you are in your 80s, I suppose you have seen everything!

Nevertheless, we entered with low expectations and left having thoroughly enjoyed one of the best fluffy movies that I have seen in a long time.

The plot is absolutely predictable: a young woman (Amanda Seyfried) goes to Verona with her fiancé on a pre-honeymoon, where she becomes involved with the local women who respond to lovers’ notes left under Juliet’s balcony. She discovers a note that has been hidden for over fifty years, answers it, which leads to an older British woman (Vanessa Redgrave) and her grandson (Chris Egan) coming to Verona to find Lorenzo!

You can imagine much of the rest, so I won’t spoil it for you, but let me tell you what made the film delightful. First, Vanessa Redgrave does an amazing job of not letting her character—the woman chasing love lost 50 years ago—become schmaltzig. Instead she plays her role with extraordinary sensitivity, perhaps more than the film deserves—but it makes her character believable and sympathetic.

Amanda Seyfried may have started as a Mean Girl (2004), but most recently she has taken on roles that exploit her very blonde innocence—and I don’t mean that disparagingly. I enjoyed her in Mama Mia and again in this film, where she manages to pull off a very tricky role. Her character Sophie has to show disappointment in love, ambition, intelligence, abandonment, but most of all vulnerability. With only a few exceptions, I thought she was fun to watch.

Her counterpart is Chris Egan, playing a stuffy, British prig who is captured by Sophie’s winsomeness. Franco Nero, the famous Italian actor, enters on a white horse….yes, it is true—without any damage to the film whatsoever.

It is a very clean, little romantic comedy—nothing that embarrassed my in-laws at all—and some scenes that are quite funny.  (I do wish they had just said the word “marry” once.)The beautiful Italian countryside and the scenes of Verona and Siena are just about worth the price of the tickets alone.

For a light, fun, clean night out, you won’t be disappointed with Letters To Juliet.

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