Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet

(PG) Sony DVD/BD

Based on the real-life phenomenon of those who leave notes for Shakespeare’s Juliet at a home in Verona and the people who write advice back, this sappy but occasionally heartwarming romantic drama picks the wrong couple to focus upon.

Testifying to how Hollywood (and our society) place youth above age on the scale of marketable commodities, Letters to Juliet has bland Sophie (Mamma Mia’s Amanda Seyfried) questioning her obviously doomed engagement to an obsessed chef (Gael Garcia Bernal). While on holiday in Italy, Sophie winds up on a cross-country journey with elderly British woman Claire (an elegant Vanessa Redgrave), after Sophie replies to a lost love letter Claire wrote to Juliet 50 years earlier.

Instead of gravitating to Claire and her never-too-late-for-true-love mission, this picturesque but predictable film spends more time on Sophie falling for Claire’s uptight grandson Charlie (former Home and Away star Chris Egan).What might have been a charming story about mature relationships becomes a fluff piece about how ill-considered some marital unions can be.

Ben McEachen

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