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P.S. It's Alright
P.S. I Love You (DVD)
Member Name: blonde_girl774
P.S. I Love You (DVD)
Advantages: A well known cast, some good acting, some funny moments & it might make you cry.
Disadvantages: A little lengthy & not as good as the book.
The film focuses on the life of Holly and Gerry, a young married couple living in America. They're your typical good looking couple who seem to be comfortable and madly in love despite life's adversities. The opening of the film shows them having quite a humorous argument before moving on quite rapidly to showing Holly at Gerry's funeral. We quickly learn that Gerry died of a brain tumour and left behind his grieving and loving wife to continue her life without him.
In order to make this a little easier for her Gerry had the foresight to write her a number of letters which arrive with her at intervals throughout the year following his death to help her move on with her life. Together with her family and friends Holly slowly adapts to life without Gerry in it, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next letter and the various challenges contained therein. The film follows Holly as she deals with her grief and overcomes it, intersected by flashbacks to her life with Gerry.
The Actors / Actresses
Holly Kennedy is played by Hilary Swank who is arguably one of the most famous faces in this film, having starred in a number of hits including Insomnia and Million Dollar Baby. She is perfect as the cute faced, girl next door type which really lets the audience empathise with her throughout the film. She accurately displays a range of emotions within this film and does so with complete conviction.
Gerry Kennedy is played by Gerard Butler who provides a little bit of eye candy within this film, he's also starred in 300 which has been his largest film to date despite having been acting for over ten years now. He's great as the Irish upbeat, loving husband during the various flashbacks within the film and comes out with some great "lovey dovey" lines that just make your heart melt instantly.
There are about five other main cast members that feature quite heavily throughout the film, these include Holly's best friends Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon) along with Sharon's husband John (James Marsters). We also meet Holly's mum (Kathy Bates) and her employee Daniel (Harry Connick Jnr) at several points throughout the film. All in all the cast is relatively well known.
The film is obviously designed to appeal to a specific audience, namely that of the female species with a liking for a good romantic plotline. Luckily I went with my friend to see this at the weekend as I can guarantee that my boyfriend would have got restless after the first fifteen minutes and proceeded to moan throughout the rest of the film. It's described as a romantic comedy although the comedy side of things was a little low on the ground; there were several moments that did have me giggling however I don't think this really warrants the description of it being a comedy if I'm honest.
The set up of the film works quite well with the majority of it being based in the present time, intersected at relevant points by flashbacks to life before Gerry died. This allows his character to develop somewhat and also reminds the audience of exactly what Holly is missing now. What was slightly odd is that in a couple of scenes, namely when Holly is half awake or dreaming, Gerry comes back from the dead to talk to her. I think these moments were unnecessary and detract from the believability and depth of the film.
The acting within the film was one of the better qualities of it; Hilary Swank was just perfect as the grieving widow and managed to evoke just the right amount of liking and sympathy from the audience. I'm not sure how accurate her portrayal was as a grieving widow, if I was in a similar situation I imagine I'd spend the days following my husband's funeral crying rather than dancing around my flat imitating people on the television as she does. As for Gerard Kennedy, during the opening scene and the flashbacks throughout the film where we learn more of their life together, he is perfect to the point of irritation. He is full of jokey one liners, loving words and hilarious dances - could he really have been like this 24/7 without some sort of medication?
A peculiar performance came in the form of Harry Connick Jnr, now I'm not a particular fan of him but the only word I can think of to describe his performance is odd. He comes out with the most bizarre and inappropriate comments and despite his aim being to make the audience laugh, he failed with me. Lisa Kudrow really does steal the show in a sense and plays her part brilliantly, oddly reminiscent of the character Phoebe in Friends. She plays a daring and honest man hunter, determined to find a man by whatever means it takes, even when it's not considered socially acceptable!
The film certainly struck a chord with me and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it on the surface. However when I got home a number of things struck me as a little odd; a new romantic interest emerged at Gerry's funeral for Holly - is it just me or is this really bizarre and totally inaccurate? Surely she would be so overcome with grief at this point that she wouldn't be interested in a man attempting to chat her up? On the surface the film makes for easy and enjoyable watching, it really doesn't go much deeper than that. Secondly her short lived love interest in Ireland could almost be mistaken for Gerry's identical twin, would anyone else be a little freaked out by that?
I do always have a tendency to compare a film to the book on which it was based and in this case I'd have to argue that the film was a little disappointing. Although it triggered all the same emotions as the book there were a number of discrepancies which left me feeling a little cheated. For example in the book we see Holly develop a romance over a period of time yet in the film this is reduced to a peculiar and unnerving friendship with Daniel and a brief encounter while on holiday in Ireland. The film did make me fill up with tears at several points however the book actually had me laughing and crying at the same time so despite the film being emotive, it wasn't quite as strong as the book.
At over two hours long in duration the film does drag a little. Although the pace never seems to get painfully slow there were moments during the film that I wished it would speed up a little. The pace is somewhat controlled by the receiving of the letters from Gerry; each letter signals a new month or season of the year and hints at Holly's transition to life without him there. The letters range from quite simple tasks such as buying a bedside lamp (which you could easily have been portrayed in just a number of minutes within the film) to taking a holiday to Ireland with her friends.
So what did I think of the film? It did drag a little and it wasn't quite as good as the book... however it did bring a tear to my eye and put me in a really good mood - I was even nice to my boyfriend all weekend as a result of watching it! Would I recommend it? If you've enjoyed the book or fancy a bit of an emotional girly chick flick then I think it's probably your best option at the cinema at present. I'm giving this 3 out of 5 stars, on the surface it's brilliant - just don't expect anything special!
P.S. Thanks for reading!
Summary: The 2008 film version of Cecilia Ahern's novel P.S. I Love You.