Letters to Juliet
Director: Gary Winick
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave
When you can predict the ending of a film inside the first 10 minutes, it tends to drag. Letters to Juliet does, rather a lot. The tediousness is only added to by the awkward acting from Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) and Christopher Egan (Charlie). Vanessa Redgrave is the best thing about the film by some distance, but you have to wonder why the revered, multi-award-winning actress chose to be part of it at all. Holidaying in Verona, Sophie visits Juliet's famous balcony and stumbles upon a letter addressed to Shakespeare's heroine, penned by a young woman called Claire (Redgrave) some 50 years earlier. Sophie replies to said letter, and in a rapid turn of events, the now elderly woman flies over to Italy, with her disapproving grandson Charlie acting as chaperone. Soon the three of them are embarking on a quest across the countryside, with the intention of locating Claire's long-lost love, Lorenzo. Christopher Egan is Australian, and this fact isn't masked by his attempts to emulate a stereotypical British upper-class accent. Unfortunately, this is only one in quite a list of cringe-worthy aspects of Letters to Juliet. Expect to squirm in your seat as Sophie and Charlie recite poetry to each other under a starry sky. Far from being moved, as they both finally declare their love (while she gazes out from a veranda, of course), I found myself having to look away from the screen. Only those with a serious love of schmaltz will have the stomach not to do the same.