P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You


Reviewed by: Caro Ness

The book of the same name turned its 21-year old author, Cecelia Ahern into a bestseller. The film takes liberties with the book, transferring the action to New York and altering the circumstances of several of the leading characters. This is inevitable but I’m not convinced that the film is as strong as the book, despite a sterling cast that includes Hillary Swank, Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow and Harry Connick Jr.

The reviews for this film were pretty damning - the favourite play on words being to rename it BS I Love You - but I think that is unfair. It is undoubtedly a chick flick in the sense that it will definitely appeal to women rather than men, but it will also touch anyone, male or female, who has had to or is having to face a terminal illness.

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The premise is that a a young widow, Holly (Hilary Swank), loses her husband, Gerry (Gerard Butler), suddenly to a brain tumour and, overcome by grief, is only brought back to the land of the living when, on her 30th birthday, she starts receiving letters from her dead husband – a year’s worth – that he had planned before he died. How he managed to organise this remains a mystery until the end of the film but, through the tests he requires of her with each letter, he slowly shows his wife how to live and love again. Paradoxically, you learn more about Gerry through the tasks he sets than you do at the beginning of the film, when he is a sketchy character.

The chemistry between Swank and Butler from the first break-up and make-up scene to the flashback to their first meeting is powerful and instinctive and they are ably backed by Kathy Bates as Holly’s mother Patricia, Lisa Kudrow as her kooky friend Denise, and Harry Connick Jr as Daniel, a bartender with Asperger’s Syndrome, who is in love with Holly.

The script is whimsical yet witty and sometimes downright funny so it is not just treacle and sentiment. The cinematography is particularly good when we the action moves to Ireland – which really is seen at its best and without the usual Anerican glaze of blarney. Ultimately, though, the film promises more than it delivers.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2008
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P.S. I Love You packshot
A widow is guided through her bereavement by a series of letters her husband wrote to surprise her with.
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Jennie Kermode **1/2

Director: Richard LaGravenese

Writer: Richard LaGravenese, Steven Rogers, based on the novel by Cecilia Ahern

Starring: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr., Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Year: 2007

Runtime: 126 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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