2010 – 105mn – PG

Directed by Gary Winick. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero.

Review by Walter Nichols

YOUNG American Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) travels to Verona, Italy, hometown of Romeo & Juliet, and joins a group of volunteers who respond to letters sent to Juliet seeking advice about love. But after answering one letter dated 1951, she inspires the letter’s author (Vanessa Redgrave) to return to Italy in search of her long-lost love…

Predictable melodramatic fluff, Letters to Juliet is livened up by its two older leads, Redgrave and Franco Nero (a couple in real life). Seyfried is good and very relatable as well. But it’s one of those films that’s like a bad, cheesy summer read given away for free with an issue of Glamour – it’s clich�d, sentimental, witless, and dull, and coasts lazily on the concept of attractive men in a sun soaked idyllic Mediterranean town. It’s directed without any invention by Gary Winick, the man who has also given us masterpieces such as Bride Wars, Charlotte’s Web, and the Sex and the City rip-off show Lipstick Jungle.

If you like your schmaltz, if it’s a very rainy summer, and if you find ten pounds you don’t mind wasting, Letters to Juliet might just be for you. Just.

Star rating: 2 out of 5 stars