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Letters to Juliet


Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal, Christopher Egan, Franco Nero, Oliver Platt, Luisa Ranieri, Marina Massironi, Lydia Biondi, Milena Vukotic, Luisa De Santis, Paolo Arvedi, Giordano Formenti

Director: Gary Winick

Dentists and manufacturers of anti-diabetic pharmaceuticals should welcome this glossy tosh with a fanfare. Its super-sugary content is more than enough to rot the most hardened molar and insulin rather than popcorn is recommended.

A New York magazine fact checker - Mamma Mia!’s Seyfried (bland as distilled water but at least, thank heavens, she doesn’t sing this time) - heads to Verona for a pre-wedding holiday with her restaurateur husband-to-be Bernal (heavy accent, weightless performance). He abandons her for truffle hunts and wine auctions, she finds a wall where devotees of Juliet of Romeo and Juliet fame stick letters asking her for romantic advice, joins the women whose job is to answer the correspondence, discovers a 1957 letter from Redgrave (keeping a straight face in the face of her role and its dumb dialogue) and replies to it. And, lo and behold, Redgrave duly turns up in Verona to seek her long-lost love, accompanied by her grandson Egan (truly awful) and – well, you know the rest, even if it’s hate at first sight between Seyfried and Egan.

The picture postcard scenery (beautifully photographed by Marco Pontecorvo) would make a perfect documentary: unfortunately the ‘dramatic’ drivel (courtesy of screenwriters Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan), and dreary direction ("A film by" Gary Winick) that accompanies it, has all the depth of scum on a reservoir and much the same entertainment value.

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: E1 Entertainment. Colour.
104 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

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

Review date: 15 Jun 2010