CATEGORIES ReviewsLetters to Juliet - the new romantic comedy starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Gael Garcia Bernal and real-life couple Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave - tells the tale of a young woman holidaying in the famous city of Verona, and helping solve the romantic troubles of people caught up in the legend of 'Romeo and Juliet.'
It's in cinemas from today so find out what we thought of it after the jump... Letters To Juliet (PG)
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Chris Egan, Gael Garcia Bernal
Director: Gary Winick
Running time: 105 minutes
Trailer: Watch it here
The plot: Movies such as Under The Tuscan Sun, My House In Umbria and Provence-vineyard variant, A Good Year, illustrate Hollywood's continuing faith in the appeal of pretty European countryside. Crumbling monuments, attractive villas, sunny gardens: all come as bonus treats to the dramas that unfold therein. In Letters To Juliet the setting is the fair city of Verona and its environs, as New York fact-checker Sophie (Mamma Mia!'s Seyfried) and her aspiring restaurateur fiancé (Bernal) take a romantic break. While he's off investigating the local produce, she discovers the house where Shakespeare's Juliet supposedly lived and where, to this day, women post their romantic dilemmas. Behind a loose brick, Sophie unearths a 50-year-old letter from a young English girl in love with an Italian boy. She replies, and soon widow Claire (Redgrave) turns up with her grandson Charlie (Egan), eager to track down the Lorenzo she was pressured into abandoning all those years ago.
What's good about it it? The scenery is indeed very pretty, and despite the film's many flaws it's hard not to be swept up by Sophie's mission to help track down the man who could be Claire's soulmate.
What's not so good? Perhaps only an American (Winick) directing an Australian (Egan) could imagine that the actor's heavily caricatured posh 'British' accent was vaguely credible. It doesn't help that Charlie haughty, arrogant, patronising is a fairly ludicrous character from the get-go. And of course it's utterly predictable that chalk-and-cheese Sophie and Charlie will go from squabbling to smooching over the course of the movie. Cheese, as in cheesy, being the mot juste.
Verdict: Only born romantics and fans of Italian countryside, who are willing to make huge suspensions of disbelief, should apply for this so-bad-it's good guilty pleasure.
Rating: 4 out of 10