Release Date: May 13 2010
Running Time: 113 minutes
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Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia) has taken the crown from Anne Hathaway (Devil Wears Prada) as the “Princess of Romantic” movies, hot on the heels of Dear John. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) travels to the city of Verona, home of the star-crossed lover Juliet Capulet of Romeo and Juliet fame, with her fiance Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). As Victor sets off chasing his passion for food and wine, Sophie left on her own becomes involved with a group of volunteers who respond to lovelorn letters to Juliet and answers a letter dated 1951 by Claire. Inspired by Sophie’s response Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) travels to Italy with her grandson Charlie (Chris Egan) in search of her long-lost love Lorenzo (Franco Nero).
There is nothing new in this story of falling in love in with a foreigner under the backdrop of a breathtakingly beautiful country. Even though it is a predictable, lightweight, non taxing story the acting performances are solid and deliver more than what the script provides. There are no deep characterizations or complexity of the storyline wriiten by Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan. More could have been made of the fact that the characters made a connection based on love lost but it just relies more on the superficial. There was also a lack of chemistry between the main players however the audience manages to stay interested just enough to found out how it transpires in spite of the obviousness of it all. Amanda Seyfried has that girl next door and sweet image which endears her to this film and to female hearts in general. This saving grace together with its lightweight romantic appeal should ensure an enjoyable girls night out and a good warm up prelude while many wait for the Sex and the City 2 juggernaut. Australian Chris Egan does a reasonable job of portraying a Brit and has come some way since his days as Home and Away’s Nick Smith. Vanessa Redgrave shines on screen but unfortunately the lighting has not been too kind and the contrast between her and her lover’s appearance is a bit distracting. Otherwise Director, Gary Winick keeps the pace rolling along nicely that we are just happy to sit back, not think and enjoy.