Only once in a while in the present film market that we know from the beginning what to expect from a movie. Letters to Juliet, I guess this has a formula in it, but the structure and location make it quite believable to watch particularly once we accept the setting is Shakespeare's Juliet balcony.
Sophie (Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia!) engaged to Victor (Gael Garcia Bemal) is off to Italy on a pre-honeymoon vacation. Sophie's expectations of a warm intimate time with Victor gradually give way to his ambition to learn as much as possible about offerings he can import for his new restaurant back in New York. His work leaves her time to roam and mingle with the folks who deal with Letters to Juliet which have been attached to the wall below the Juliet balcony.
The rich group of women who answer all the notes from women who write to Juliet are committed to providing answers to the romantic cravings of the visitors. Sophie is allowed to join the responders while she waits for Victor to conclude his ever expanding business meetings. Through a loose brick in the wall she discovers a fifty year old letter from Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) who at fifteen lost contact with the love of her life.
Answering the letter for the Juliet group leads Sophie to meet Claire, the author of the letter and her grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan). Charlie is opposed to his grandmother search for her lost love but Sophie understands. The tension between Charlie and Sophie obviously is about to lead to romance, but their rough on the edges romance never reaches us as affectively as the romance between the older couple who immediately recall the fifty year old relationship which ended when her letter was written.
Seyfried has the smile of a young Goldie Hawn, bright eyes and a youthful look that helps Letters to Juliet look like the romance films of the past, simple, enjoyable and a delight to watch.
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