Letters to Juliet

Sophie’s life is heading in a good direction. She is the best fact checker at the New Yorker, engaged to an up-and-coming chef and is headed on a romantic trip to Verona, the setting of Shakespeare’s most famous play, Romeo and Juliet. But when Sophie discovers a multi-decade old letter written to Juliet she finds herself on a new and exciting adventure in the spirit of true love.

The film hitches its wagon on rising star Amanda Seyfried as the leading lady, playing romantically-inclined heroine Sophie. Amanda plays opposite Christopher Egan as Charlie, a pessimistic and overly protective grandson of Claire, a romantic adventurer and ideal parental-figure, played by the ever-enchanting Vanessa Redgrave.

It was easy to expect that this would be the same old American twenty-something in love tale, but I was unexpectedly surprised by the depth and honesty in “Letters to Juliet”. While it is much more a love story than a comedy, the film tackles a number of the usual subjects –love, loss, and destiny– in new ways. Throughout the film are touching scenes that blend laughter and keen, realistic emotion, without the all too familiar awkward result.

And it is hard not to smile while watching “Letters to Juliet”. The infusion of a love story mixes well with the films other themes: the importance of family and the value of cross-cultural perspectives. These complex themes support the romantic story so well that the experience is less like a fantasy and more akin to a well-layered tale told by a close friend. Mix in the stunning landscape of Italy and “Letters to Juliet” becomes a magically honest story about the quest for true love.

Filled with quality acting, romance, and many kinds of love while speaking across generations and cultural viewpoints, “Letters to Juliet” manages to pull at the heartstrings and share an inspiring and uplifting tale.

4.5 out of 5