Tuesday, May 20, 2008

P.S. I Love You

For your standard rom-com, P.S. I Love You has some pretty dark moments to the storyline. Holly (Hilary Swank)loses her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) to a brain tumor. Soon after his death, she starts receiving letters Gerry wrote before he died. Gerry has a everything plotted out to help Holly through the first year after he passes away. Holly's mom (Kathy Bates) disapproves of the lettters. She believes her daughter is never going to get over it with all the constant reminder of her lost husband. Throw in a strange dude (Harry Connick, Jr) and some friends (Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow), and you have a film.

Director Richard LaGravenese is man all over the creative map. He has made in interesting chick flick in Living Out Loud, a spellbinding doc on American cinema in A Decade Under the Influence, a contribution to Paris J'taime, and a generic teacher film in Freedom Writers. Before directing, LaGravenese made some coin and a name adapting chick novels to chick flicks. But for his writing debut, he scripted the wonderful Terry Gilliam film The Fisher King. Overall though, you'd have to say he should know his vaginal audience. This film raked in a fairly respectable total at the box office.

Back to the film at hand, I found myself wondering why this film was constructed the way it is? You get a very anticlimatic double ending that leaves you with questions... and not in a good way. You basically follow Holly through the story with flashbacks to explain how she fell in love with Gerry. In real life, Holly sleeps with Gerry's friend from Ireland seemingly with his blessing from beyond the grave and maintains some sort of thing with the Connick, Jr character. It all feels awkward...

That is probably the best way to describe the entire film: awkward. The tone is all over the place...the characters are all over the place... the script is all over the place. Somehow I think I did like it. I say I think because I had a ton of issues with it. Butler and Swank REALLY work their asses off here.


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