In this desperately laboured rom-com adapted from Cecilia Ahern's book of the same name, Holly (Hilary Swank)'s tempestuous relationship with her husband, Gerry (Gerard Butler), comes to an abrupt end when he dies of a brain tumour. After an initial surge of sympathy, our tears evaporate when a series of beyond-the-grave letters from Gerry start arriving, ordering Holly to go and buy a bedside lamp, sing karaoke and visit his parents in Ireland. Interesting remedies for a grieving widow, you may think. Even Swank's much-lauded acting skills can't keep this sinking ship afloat and we swing from one letter to the next, suspended in disbelief at the inappropriateness of it all. Butler's caricature-Irish performance as Gerry is unconvincing and an assortment of hideously self-absorbed characters appear, who all seem to want to bully Holly out her misery. Harry Connick Jr moons after her, then sulks when she turns him down, and Lisa Kudrow throws a tantrum because Holly misses her wedding dress fittings, making you want to scream, "Her husband's just died, you ridiculous people!" Even the spectacularly hokey scenes of Ireland (think Guinness, pubs and brooding men) can't cheer us up, as we lurch towards its stomach-churning but timely close.
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