Letters to Juliet Film Review
Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried), is a full-of-life fact checker for a prominent newspaper The New Yorker. She dreams of becoming a writer for the paper herself one day. At the beginning of the film, Sophie prepares for a vacation with her fiance Victor (Gael García Bernal).
Victor is an upcoming chef just about to open his own restaurant in The Big Apple. Meant as an early Honeymoon, Victor and Sophie take their trip to Italy with many plans to spend days tasting food and sightseeing together.
Soon after arriving in Verona, it is obvious that the couple have completely different ideas of what this vacation should entail. Victor is at once bombarded with invites to places with wines and foods to taste. Sophie just wants to see the sights. Victor talks over Sophie or ignores her interests as he discovers new interests of his own, and Sophie soon tires of the same conversations. She suggests that they spend theit time in the city doing their own things.
During her wanderings, Sophie comes across the Verona courtyard where people from across the world have written letters to the famed Juliet from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Sophie sees a woman collecting the letters and follows. The missives, collected every day by a group of women who call themselves the "secretaries of Juliet" actually take the time to answer each and every letter. Immediately in the love with the idea, Sophie volunteers to help.
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What do you know? She finds a letter hidden behind a loose brick that has been there for 50 years! The letter tells a story about a 15-year-old stuck between the decisions of staying under the thumb of her family or running away with her true love to live happily ever.
Sophie takes all day to answer the letter. Better late than never, right? To Sophie's surprise, Claire Smith (played by Vanessa Redgrave), the woman who wrote the letter all those years ago, shows up the next day with her grandson!
Sophie is delighted and tells Claire's grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) that she wants to meet Claire. Sophie and Charlie share quick wits and are soon insulting one another with finesse. Unfortunately, Charlie disagrees with his grandmother for visiting, but he had come along to make sure the spunky woman didn't hitchhike. Because of this, he refuses Sophie her wish to meet Claire.
After following Charlie anyway (and to Charlie's eternal chagrin), Sophie gets to meet Claire. Soon the trio embarks on a journey to help the woman find the man that she had not been brave enough to run away with 50 years beforehand. Does she succeed? Rent or buy the movie and experience their adventure full of laughs, heartbreaking tears, sarcastic remarks between Charlie and Sophie, and loves discovered and rediscovered in all forms.
Based on Truth!
This film's idea was actually inspired by a true phenomenon! The non-fiction book Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman and Friedman chronicles letters written to Shakespeare's most famous romantic heroine. Is that cool or what?
© 2011 Jennifer Kessner
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