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Movie review – P.S. I Love You February 15, 2008

Posted by Raul in movies, personal life.
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Perhaps the best movie of the year (and yes, admittedly it is only February 14th), this is one of the nicest films I’ve seen in a long time. While I admit that Hilary Swank is not one of my favorite actresses (not because I don’t believe in her acting ability – she has two Oscars, after all!), she has had some excellent work (particularly her ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ which gave her the first of her two Oscars).

This is, by and large, the best performance I’ve seen of an ensemble cast in a romantic comedy. With actors of the caliber of Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Gina Gershon, Lisa Kudrow, James Marsters, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Harry Connick Jr., I wonder how much pressure the director felt. Often times, it feels as though there is a risk that the movie will place too much emphasis on just one character and leave the rest underdeveloped. That’s definitely not the case in “P.S. I Love You“.

One word of warning before I continue with my rave review (yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie) … I wouldn’t recommend seeing this movie if you’ve gone through a recent breakup or if you’ve lost a loved one (as the film deals with how Swank’s Holly Kennedy deals with the death of her beloved husband, Gerry Kennedy, played by Gerard Butler).

The movie traces the evolution of Holly’s coping, mourning and moving on with her life after her husband Gerry dies of a brain tumor, a short ten years after getting married. The ultimate slacker, Gerry is a happy-go-lucky, free-spirited man (in contrast to Holly’s uptight, all-around planner personality). However, in a movingly sweet display of maturity and love, he plans (and writes) a series of letters to Holly. Each letter is supposed to help Holly inch forward towards moving on and accepting Gerry’s death. And guess what… without giving away the ending, I can assure you that she ends up being alright, although in a non-Hollywood kind of way.

Admittedly, “P.S. I Love You” can be categorized as a chick flick. I have read some rather negative reviews (one even coming from The Globe and Mail). But the truth is that I spent half of the movie with tears in my eyes. And I can assure you that I wasn’t the only one in the theater who had that reaction.

I found many positive aspects to the movie, some of which I discussed with JT. One of the best elements of the script is that each letter actually does push Holly forward. Holly does not have emotional ups-and-downs during the grieving process (which truthfully may be a little bit of a stretch). Maybe it’s just because I believe in the power of self-awareness. Holly finds out more and more about herself and about the immense love that Gerry had for her. And in the process, she learns to let go of her deceased husband.

Swank delivers a very nice performance, as does Butler. The rest of the cast is phenomenal, and Kathy Bates steals many scenes as the overbearing, possessive yet absolutely adoring and loving mother of Holly. In one of the main scenes, where Swank’s character lashes back at humanity and destiny for having had her husband taken away from her, Bates does an absolutely amazing job of comforting her and explaining that fate isn’t fair.

Of course, some of the climactic moments are associated with the title of the movie. After imparting wisdom, offering reflections on their life together and on how the future should shape for Holly, or simply suggest that she takes the time to go out on the town and enjoy herself with her two best friends (impeccably played by Gershon and Kudrow), he always signs each letter… “P.S. I love you“. I couldn’t help but get goosebumps and shed a few tears every time he read out loud these words.

It is a good movie, despite whatever negative comments some reviewers have. Honestly, I don’t know if the people who wrote the reviews are just jaded or what, but I for one, absolutely loved the movie, particularly because I saw myself reflected in many instances. This movie reminded me that, once in my lifetime, I was entirely, unabashedly, totally and fully in love. For an amazing year, my former partner’s first words every morning used to be “Good morning. How can I make you happy today?“. No wonder why this movie struck a chord with me. I have previously indicated, Amado Nervo was right about me in his poem. Truthfully, yes, “I loved, I was loved, the sun graced my face. Life, you owe me nothing. Life, we are in peace“.

P.S. I Love You” is a great Valentine’s movie and I couldn’t have asked for a better movie to see on Valentine’s Day. My evening was simply perfect. I hope yours was too.

Trailer courtesy of YouTube.

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Comments»

1. Wei Jun - February 18, 2008

That was a great trailer! I don’t even know how much time I’ve spent just sitting in front of the computer and repeating the thing again and again! I’ve not watched the movie yet because somehow, PS has not been screened in my country. I’ve just bought the book and I enjoyed it so tremendously! The book is currently my favorite book now. I really recommend it to everyone who hasn’t read it yet. Though I must say I was a little disappointed when I realised Holly is an American living in America(in the book, Holly stated that she isn’t an American and has no intention of migrating to America) and how the story has been changed to become this movie. But then, from the trailer, the movie should still be enjoyable! Now I should probably go watch the trailer again before re-reading the book!

2. Laken - February 18, 2008

That was an awesome trailer! I don’t even know how much time I’ve spent just by sitting in front of the computer and repeating the thing again and again! I’ve not watched the movie yet because somehow, PS has not been screened in my country. I’ve just finished reading the book by Cecilia Ahern and I have to say I enjoyed it so tremendously! The book has even become my favorite one now and I highly recommend it to everyone who hasn’t read it yet. I was a little disappointed when I realised that Holly is an American living in America (in the book, she states that she’s not an American and has no intention of migrating to America) and also how the story has been changed to become this movie. But from the trailer, it should still be enjoyable! Now I should go back to watching the trailer again before re-reading the book! 😀

3. Jennifer Stoddart - February 23, 2008

I thought this was a sweet movie too. You’re right- perfect Valentine’s Day show! I didn’t read the book first (which perhaps allowed me to appreciate the movie more)…Truth be told, Hilary Swank’s not one of my favourite actresses either, especially not for this type of movie. But I really liked her in this one. I thought Harry Connick Jr. was adorably good in it as well. Lots of good quotes and touching moments. Great review, Raul! 🙂


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