Dylan Kidd’s second film is similar in aspects to his first, multi-award winning Roger Dodger. P.S. tells the story of an ageing woman, Louise Harrington (Laura Linney), who finds herself facing her past when she meets F Scott Feinstadt (Topher Grace), a much younger man who uncannily resembles her high school love in almost every aspect. He paints, he has the same handwriting, and he looks very much like her first love. Suddenly, and quite out-of-the- blue, they embark upon a passionate relationship soon after meeting that meets complications settled deep in the past.

Like Roger Dodger, Kidd has chosen to focus on the story of the two main protagonists, yet unlike Roger Dodger, he has scattered a smattering of annoyingly useless co-stars around the main leads. Some are a manageable watch and add a splash of realism to the plot - such as Gabriel Byrne’s Peter Harrington, Louise’s ex-husband, who, though woodenly acted and depressingly sulky, adds to the complexity of Louise’s character.

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However, most of the other characters are quite pointless and Marcia Gay Harden is totally insufferable as Louise’s best friend Missy Goldberg. Her early scenes as just a voice on the telephone find her too irritating for words and when she finally appears on screen she is a clichéd, useless character that could have benefited the plot by being completely removed.

The plot revelations are interesting and not easily guessed beforehand, making this film more than your simple romantic drama and almost slipping into a paranormal mystery (thankfully not) and the acting of Linney and Grace is wonderfully humane, yet the whole film has a certain blandness to it. Not to say it isn’t good watching. It is, but it is just not as attention-grabbing and unique as it could have been. And a warning - those who hate a frustratingly soppy, clichéd happy-ending would maybe be better off watching something else.

Reviewed on: 24 Sep 2006
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P.S. packshot
Surprisingly intense romantic drama following a 39-year-old and her battle with past secrets that resurface when she gets herself a toy-boy.
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Director: Dylan Kidd

Writer: Helen Schulman and Dylan Kidd, based on the novel by Helen Schulman

Starring: Laura Linney, Topher Grace, Paul Rudd, Marcia Gay Harden, Gabriel Byrne

Year: 2004

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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Roger Dodger