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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

P.S. I Love You

Depending on what kind of person you are, the idea of having your dead husband send you letters - and bossy letters ordering you around at that - from beyond the grave is either totally romantic or really, really creepy. If you fall into the second group (take a second to think about it), then stay as far away from this film as you can because you won't be able to stop shouting "he's dead! Get over it!" at the screen. To be fair, there's a few hints that the creators of this film knew how creepy the central idea was, and they try to explain why a seemingly normal young woman would consent to be stalked from beyond the grave. See, Holly (Hilary Swank) married her first love Gerry (Gerald Butler) young and before she could taste much of life, so now that he's dead his letters are a way to push her out into the world to experience life. Cue singing in bars, having new experiences, travelling to Ireland to sleep with a man who looks just like her dead husband... you get the idea. And meanwhile a somewhat retarded seeming Harry Connick Jr is lurking around as a potential love interest once she's ready to love again, and it's around this point that even if you do buy the central conceit of this film you'll probably be thinking that something isn't quite right. Swank gives a good performance and Butler (from 300) is as hunky as ever, but none of the characters are more than plot devices to sell the "love that will not die... until it has to, of course" idea. It looks nice and moves along well, but this is a badly tuned machine designed to tug at heartstrings, not a movie.

Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Forte #419)

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