Letters To Juliet (Blu-ray)
I am the target audience for this film – the idea of going to Italy, finding adventure in the shape of someone else’s love story and perhaps finding you own love story – totally my cup of tea or bowl of gelato, if you will. Which makes me sad to announce that LETTERS TO JULIET missed the mark, it was not even close to the bull’s-eye.
Even though it had all of the right ingredients, the measurements were off on this easy love story recipe. No need for seconds, one serving will more than satisfy (or dissatisfy in some/most cases) your palate. Amanda Seyfried plays the part of Sophie, an engaged fact finder for The New Yorker who dreams of being a writer. She is headed off to Italy for a pre-honeymoon with her fiancé, Victor (played by the always dreamy, love his accent, Gael Garcia Bernal). Reason for a pre-honeymoon? Victor’s restaurant will be opening soon and they won’t have an opportunity like this after the wedding. When they get to Italy, he’s off at assorted tastings and making restaurant contacts leaving Sophie alone wandering the streets of Italy where she discovers a 50 year old letter stuck in a wall and decides as a writer, she must write back and adventure unfolds.
Seyfried is bland in this romcom, making you wish she put some zest in her performance. The only part of the film where I found her to be interesting is in the end wedding sequence and that is over shadowed by a blaring rendition of Taylor Swift’s Romeo & Juliet song. The song is totally unnecessary during the film; it would have worked much better in the credits. Garcia Bernal serves up a delicious performance as the charming, scatterbrained, over enthusiastic chef and I wish that Seyfried would have put as much emotion in her character as he did his. I’m not saying she had to be over the top like he was, but some flavor would have been better than her stale and boring performance throughout the film!
As Sophie embarks on her cross country adventure with the woman who wrote the 50 year old letter, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) and Claire’s grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan) between the unnecessary number of shots of the three of them in the car, I’m loving the landscape and scenery that is captured in the travel montages. It makes you want to grab your bags, catch a flight to Italy and experience the countryside for yourself! Redgrave has some good moments and some really terrible moments in this movie while Egan has the most character development and a better wardrobe than Seyfried.
Watching the relationship development between Sophie and Charlie feels totally forced and unnatural; they go from loathing to liking one another in an unbelievable fashion. No matter what, come the end of the day I’m still a sucker for chick flick-romcom-happily ever after endings so did get a tad weepy at the end, not really caring that it wraps up as cliché and cringe worthy as possible.
Video: (2.35:1 Widescreen) You almost feel like you are in Italy the picture is so sharp!
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The music is too loud, the voices too soft, leaving nothing just right.
Audio Commentary with Director Gary Winick And Actor Amanda Seyfried: Having this feature seems a touch unnecessary, they share random facts and ideas about the film but nothing note worthy.
Deleted And Extended Scenes (10:53): Two deleted scenes and six extended scenes with one play all button. Happy they opted to cut the deleted scenes and found all of the extended scenes to be unnecessary – except for one. Another Wrong Lorenzo is a crack up. Wish they would have included that in the movie.
The Making Of LETTERS TO JULIET: In Italia (12:40): All of the lead characters, directors and producers comment on how wonderful it was to work in Italy, with one another and how together they made this amazing movie. They touch on the central theme of “what if” and how they believe in the “what if”.
A Courtyard in Verona (5:40): A look back at famous love stories throughout the ages and a discussion on how Romeo & Juliet is the most enduring love story of all time. They discuss the book of which the film is based on, look at the history behind the letters to Juliet (a phenomenon that has taken place since 1930’s to present day). One of the more interesting special features for those who like history and learning a little something new.