At Northern Voice I received an advance screening pass from Miss604 to see Letters to Juliet last night. I love Amanda Seyfried (ever since Mamma Mia!) and was very excited to attend. I invited Marina along as she is a movie buff and also was at Northern Voice. Last night we met up at 6:00pm outside the Scotiabank Theatre downtown. The screening was at 7:00 but it wasn’t too busy, however the theatre filled up just before the screening began.
Letters to Juliet follows Sophie, an American girl on vacation in Italy with her fiance Victor. She considers the vacation a “pre-honeymoon” whereas Victor is using it to meet with potential suppliers for his restaurant in New York. Sophie finds herself alone in Verona and discovers The Secretaries of Juliet, a group of women who dedicate themselves to answer all the letters left at Casa de Guiliette in Verona. Sophie finds an unanswered letter from 50 years ago, and writes back. When the woman, Claire, shows up with her obnoxious grandson, Charlie, Sophie joins them a quest to find Claire’s long lost Lorenzo.
Letters to Juliet is a romantic comedy with a fairly predictable plot, but the actors really made the movie stand up. You can see some of the plot developments coming from miles away, but it was kind of nice to just sit back and join the characters for the ride. I think Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) and Vanessa Redgrave (Claire) really shine and are able to portray genuine emotion. Sophie and Claire’s relationship felt very authentic to me while the other relationships in the movie seemed a little two-dimensional. Gael García Bernal (Victor) was a bit of comic relief, and Christopher Egan (Charlie) is the stereotypical stuck-up English boy that everyone loves to hate and hates to love.
One of the comments I made to Marina was that I wasn’t sure about Christopher Egan’s (Charlie) accent. It is very posh and almost fake-sounding in a trying-to-hard-to-be-British way. I think for a North American audience, it works well for his character, especially upon first impressions. However, Marina confirmed later that Egan is in fact Australian. Yum! They should cast him with an Australian accent in his next movie! Marina said (in her review on the Row Three blog), “he reminds me of a young Heath Ledger in everything from his looks and mannerisms to his acting; he’s definitely one to watch.”
This was a sweet movie and I think it will be one of those mushy-silly movies that will stick around. It probably won’t be a big blockbuster, but it certainly a feel-good movie. And although I found myself shedding a few tears, I left the theatre feeling warm and fuzzy and positive about “true love”.