Letters to Juliet (2010)

Letters to Juliet (2010) — This movie played out like an endless series of missed opportunities.  The best things in this stupid little movie were just teasing reminders of the potential good movies that could have been made if someone with a soul had made this film instead.  The premise of this movie is that fifty years ago Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) met Lorenzo (Franco Nero, Redgrave’s real life husband) and they had a torrid affair but she left him to go back to England with her family, standing the poor bastard up.  She wrote a letter to the fictional Juliet Capulet (because that’s apparently what lovelorn women in Verona do) that got stuck behind a brick or whatever and ignored for 50 years.  Now, she gets a response telling her that love is always worth fighting for blah blah blah and she decides to go back to Italy to find her lost love Lorenzo.  Does this all sound very romantic and interesting?  Well, it should be BUT IT’S NOT.  Here’s why: this movie is not about Claire.  All that shit I just said essentially happens in the background.  Two old people trying to re-find lost love isn’t “sexy” [read: marketable] and so the movie revolves around a much younger and insipid protagonist.  Sophie (played by live action anime character Amanda Seyfried) is a fact-checker/aspiring writer from New York engaged to an awesome, if self-centered, guy Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal) who is opening up a restaurant.  They go on a working vacation to Italy.  Even though it is explicitly stated to be a working vacation where Victor will have to do a lot of things for his restaurant, Sophie seems bored and frustrated that he’s working and doing things for his restaurant.  She eventually discovers Claire’s letter and writes the response that triggers Claire’s return to Italy.  Claire brings with her a prick of a grandson named Charlie (Chris Egan).  Seriously, this guy is a douche.  All he does over the course of the movie is bitch about every single thing.  He and Sophie absolutely hate each other until for reasons that are completely unclear they are suddenly in love.  Sure, he’s handsome and has an accent but she’s already with a guy who is handsome and has a better accent.  Plus Victor is passionate about things instead of just shitting all over everything like Charlie.  But whatever.  So that’s this movie: missed opportunities at every single fucking turn.  I wrote recently in a review of Before Sunrise that even though there is a whole genre called “Romance” there are next to no movies that are actually the least bit romantic (Before Sunrise and its sequel being blissful exceptions).  This is yet another movie that seems to equate romance with brain damage.

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