‘Letters to Juliet’ is a classic love story, it has to be if ‘Juliet’ is in the title, right? But don’t worry, it’s not a tragic, just a simple chick-flick with a proper feel-good mood and predictable endings.
I seem to find that Amanda Seyfried plays a lot of Sophie’s, and this film isn’t any different. In ‘Letters to Juliet’, Sophie goes on a pre-wedding holiday with her fiancé, she finds a 50 year old letter hidden in one of the rocks which was meant to be written back by the Secretaries of Juliet. Instead, Sophie decides to write back then, 50 years later. What is unexpected, is when the woman she wrote back to, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave), decides to come back to Verona and find her Lorenzo, bringing along her arrogant grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan).
This film shows a lot of different types of love. An old and hopeful love, this is from Claire and her hope to find Lorenzo, no matter how long it will take her; this element is beautiful in the film. There is also the love of a grandson to his grandmother, this obviously Charlie, he is protective and worries too much, scared his grandmother will be hurt and not find her true love. Charlie is a great character, the audience experiences an arrogant English man from the beginning, but as the film proceeds, things become more clear to who he actually is; especially this understanding of his protectiveness to this grandmother. There is also the pre-married love, but the audience don’t really witness it as a love, but more complicated, this is seen through Sophie and Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), her fiancé. There is also a new love, but I’m not going to ruin the film. So to say the least, it is a romantic film.
Verona as a setting is important to the film to express the romantic aspect, as it reflects strongly to Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as that is where it is set. Even if the three main characters in it aren’t Italian, yet American or British; although Christopher Egan is actually Australian in real life. Most of the film is set in Italy, as Victor advances on his own trips visiting food places, Sophie experiences her own journey with Claire and Charlie helping Claire find her love. The film is based upon Sophie and her own experience in Italy, rather than seeing Victor. Victor is more seen as the villain of the film; I wouldn’t say that there really is a bad guy, but he’s seen as the one that the audience don’t really feel sorry for or really know anything about, other than he’s interested in his own gains and ignores Sophie, so the audience automatically becomes more attached and sympathetic towards Amanda Seyfried’s character.
‘Letters to Juliet’ is definitely appropriate for younger ages, I would say appropriate for anyone. The characters aren’t teenagers and it’s not set in a school, so it’s not that sort of chick-flick; however I would still probably say that the audience aimed at is for teens.
One of the things I really like about this film, other than the romantic element, because I’m a sucker for romcoms; is that it’s really fast pace, on paper not much actually happens in the film, but when watching it there seems to be a lot and it’s so excellently created that it doesn’t seem boring at all, that actually it seems like a really short film, when realistically it’s about an hour and 45 minutes. It also helps that I think all the characters are great, other than the annoyance of the personality of Victor. But I find Sophie a likeable character, Charlie even more so, and Claire, the loving grandmother.
So for a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ styled, yet happy, film, ‘Letters to Juliet’ is a good choice. It is modern, because I made that sound like it was Shakespearean; if I’m being realistic except the Secretaries of Juliet and the setting, oh and the use of the balcony; there really isn’t much relevance to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at all. But anyway, I would recommend this film, if you love a good romcom like I do, this is a great film. Probably one of the most predictable films I’ve ever seen though, and that’s saying something. I haven’t mentioned this, but there is some light humour to make the film more enjoyable of course, and the use of well-known pop music, my favourite being ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift, once again another connection to ‘Romeo and Juliet’… There are small connections. Anyway, if you decide to watch this film, hope you enjoy it, I obviously do, especially that I watch it so often.