Skip to content

At The Movies With Peter Clease - Letters to Juliet

Under a night muting--cool and starlit--Amanda Seyfried, playing a Juliet Capulet wannabe, fact-checking Sophie Hall, utters a desperate, desperately desperate banality: "Do you believe in destiny?" Her soon-to-be contrivance, an English toad, Charli


Under a night muting--cool and starlit--Amanda Seyfried, playing a Juliet Capulet wannabe, fact-checking Sophie Hall, utters a desperate, desperately desperate banality: "Do you believe in destiny?"

Her soon-to-be contrivance, an English toad, Charlie Wyman (Chris Egan), who seems to give pause, as if the actor--by some ethical act--is trying to break through the surface of the character to scream of poor, cringe-inducing, sentimental dreck, saps, "Do you?"

"Yeah, I think so," she spews; - then, muttering another clichÉ, which supplemented by "Letters to Juliet's" ongoing triteness, further dooms the scene, displacing romance, the |hinted| kind, for budding anarchy: "I think it's destiny that I'm here, right now." And, as line by line eats away, this dispassionate conversation continues through the entire film! Every word is formula--truly egregious--and the worst are sticky, overly emoted needles to the ears; the stuff of rainbows and unicorns and lollipops;--a filmic leprechaun, who coins prosaic phrases, randomly timed... Also, you do believe in destiny, right?

Of course, on the basis of these flaws, the plot is inexplicably thin; thereby, due to the film's own anorexia, positives are abandoned, recycled and refigured into tiring farce, which lacks any happy escapist joy.

After a nonsensical, lovesick introduction, Sophie meets Charlie, and, in a revolutionary turn, they bicker, insinuate and play; too often, to, they look into each others' eyes, gawking retarded-like, and I assume the intention is that these beasts are loveable; however, while intention counts, it's a strange thing when the characters, themselves, seem to make a sterling case for euthanasia--indeed, a very strange thing.

But it's not enough that two players are presented as a vampirian couple; no!--the syrup requires four!--: the two previous and two older vamps, known as Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) and Lorenzo (Franco Nero), to suck the blood, zealously, from all viewing veins. Sophie dislikes Charlie, while Claire has always loved Lorenzo, and just maybe (tee-hee) Lorenzo loves her, too; but, certainly, things will change and deepen, and there will be a road trip through Italy, and Sophie will realize her food lusting fiancÉ, Victor (Gael García Bernal), is not the "right guy" for her:--but who is?--and what will happen to the four dears; and when; and where; and how; and why? Why, please why!

Yet, the answers that drove me so never came, and the problems I observed festered and grew. For instance, a problem that plagues any film that stars Amanda Seyfried is that the character is always Amanda Seyfried, as she simply cannot act, in any context, in any situation or place; there is no role she brings anything to, save for overacting, which manifests in annoying, sideways stare-downs and vocals that translates petty nothings into the "purest" sappiness.

Then, there is, you know, the rest of the film--a disease onto the cinematic world that's almost the equal to Seyfried.

2 out of 5 popcorns.