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P.S. I Love You


Stars: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon

Director: Richard LaGravenese

Far from the hallowed halls of the Paris Opera House (but still singing), Butler moves on to become the Phantom of the Soap Opera in this inordinately long weepie that simply can't overcome the void left by its leading man dying in the first 10 minutes. As he succumbs to a brain tumour, Gerry (Butler) arranges for a series of letters to be sent to his American wife (Swank) to help her through the mourning period. In reality, they seem to do nothing of the sort.

Swank is excellent in the early stages of the film as the grieving widow of Butler's happy-go-lucky Irishman, but she can't sustain things over two hours and once her friends get her out and about the film collapses. Far too much time is spent on her tentative romance with morose barman Connick Jr, which we can all see is going nowhere. Gershon and Kudrow do their best to add sparkle as her mates, and Bates gives it a tear-sodden try as her mom, but almost none of it works and certainly not the absurd upbeat ending. Truly Madly Deeply it isn't.

LaGravenese's previous films, Freedom Writers (also with Swank), and Living Out Loud are among my favourites, but he's slipped up quite seriously here. Ireland, though, looks as pretty as a picture under the Technicolor cameras of Terry Stacey. Goodness only knows why the film's got a 12A certificate.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Momentum. Technicolor.
125 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Dec 2007