Fellow Movie Lovers
LETTERS TO JULIET
Oh, I can hear the groans of disbelief; why bother with this romantic drivel? Is the city bereft of more worthy fare? Yes it is trivial romantic fluff. Even the story revolving around distraught, devastated young women searching for solutions to their disastrous love affairs, doomed or abandoned relationships from Juliet Capulet, the Juliet starring in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the late sixteenth century tragedy. Who in their right mind (no matter how lovesick) seeks advice from a thirteen year old girl who kills herself on her husband’s tomb? Defies logic, but love and logic can be mismatched bedfellows.
That being said I loved every syrupy preordained second! Constant sinking to the lachrymose, every tear partnered with a smile. Italy glimmers, especially Verona; the sun spawning warmth and glory on every animate and inanimate object. You smell the olive oil, cheese, wine, fresh from the oven- baked bread, and savor the indescribable flavors of Italy; permeating every taste bud, salivating with memories of past Italian feasts, lusting for future gastronomic repasts.
Amanda Seyfried (Chloe) is Sophie, the exquisite, idealistic “fact finder” for The New Yorker, who embarks on a trial honeymoon with her intended, Victor, (Gael Garcia Benal), a chef, totally miscast but competent. Amanda visits the shrine to Juliet, where forlorn young ladies leave their sanctimonious, pleading notes, stuffed between bricks, the wailing wall of Verona; and discovers a letter written fifty years ago and answers it; hence the birth of a beautiful, nostalgic journey, blossoming in a pilgrimage throughout the dazzling Italian landscape. Vanessa Redgrave (Claire), the Midas of actors, gives a twenty- four caret gold performance as the older woman seeking the magic of a lost love, vanished but remembered youth; she imbues the role with grace, passion and dignity; Camelot will always be hers, even in the hereafter.
While exiting, peacefully satiated, walking home positive that everlasting togetherness in the genre of Doris Day & Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn & Gary Cooper, Kathryn Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, will be eternally theirs. “The End” at the conclusion of “Letters to Juliet” finalized that a match made in Verona is sacred.
What better feeling than realizing that all your expectations were validated, the smugness legitimized, and acknowledging how much we have missed the happy endings in film and in dreams.