Eric D. Snider

P.S. I Love You

Movie Review

P.S. I Love You

by Eric D. Snider

Grade: C

Released: December 21, 2007

 

Directed by:

Cast:

Hilary Swank doesn't usually play girlie roles, and the unabashed chick flick "P.S. I Love You" demonstrates why: She's not very girlie. Her Oscar-winning performances in "Million Dollar Baby" and "Boys Don't Cry" are proof enough that she's at her best playing boxers or dudes, not "Sex and the City" types who wear designer clothes and worry about whether their shoes know how much they love them. "P.S. I Love You" even casts Kathy Bates as her mom. I kept expecting them to put on some denim jackets and head down to Home Depot.

Swank plays what obviously should have been the Sandra Bullock part, an uptight, pragmatic woman named Holly with a happy-go-lucky Irish husband named Gerry (Gerard Butler). They are very happy despite their differences, for they are soul mates.

Then, wouldn't you know it, Gerry dies of a brain tumor. She is inconsolable for several weeks, despite the best efforts of her mother, her married friend Sharon (Gina Gershon), and her single-but-looking friend Denise (Lisa Kudrow). On her 30th birthday, she gets a letter from Gerry, the first of many that he wrote to her before he died and arranged to have delivered regularly after he was gone. This first one urges her to go out and celebrate her birthday with her friends. The next one tells her to splurge on a nice new outfit. Soon enough she and the girls are in Ireland on a trip he paid for, meeting a handsome singer named William (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in a pub, and sleeping with him. (Well, just Holly does.)

It's supposed to be sweet that Gerry is reaching out from beyond the grave to help Holly get her groove back, and I can see how it would look that way on paper. (The film is based on a Cecelia Ahern novel.) But then you have creepy moments like the one where Holly and William are lying in bed, post-coital, and they start sharing fond memories of Gerry. I don't care how many letters your dead husband sent you, don't talk about him when you're naked in bed with someone else. That's a pretty basic rule.

Back in New York, Holly starts a tentative friendship with a bartender named Daniel (Harry Connick Jr.) who has no filter on his brain and consequently often says outrageous things. (Just like Sophia on "The Golden Girls"!) Connick is good for a few laughs, and so are Gershon and Kudrow, the latter in particular with her character's shamelessly methodical way of finding new boyfriends. Even Swank, if not exactly a delicate, feminine heroine, exhibits some charming lightheartedness here and there.

But director Richard LaGravenese (who adapted the novel with Steven Rogers) seems content to let the film be nothing more than a generically competent, mildly diverting girls' night out, with only its slightly unusual premise to separate it from every other chick flick ever made. It's fitfully amusing, sure, but also overwhelmingly saccharine and manipulative. It aims low and meets its aims. Being a C student is fine if that's all you can do, but shouldn't you at least try to do better?

Grade: C

Rated PG-13, a naked butt, moderate profanity, mild sexual references

2 hrs., 6 min.

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This item has 25 comments

  1. Nick Carter says:

    Is the naked butt male or female? Please. I must know.

  2. Karen says:

    Maybe Swank is trying to get back to her "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" roots. She was pretty girly in that movie.

  3. Chrystle says:

    Read the book. Much better. They had to Americanize the women, didn't they. At least they kept the husband Irish.

  4. Bryan says:

    #1: It's a chick flick. Whose naked butt do you think chicks want to see, Hilary Swank's or a guy's?

  5. Wombatty says:

    Is it just me, or does Hilary Swank look like Matt Damon's younger, butcher sister?

  6. Rob D. says:

    Classic line Eric: "I don't care how many letters your dead husband sent you, don't talk about him when you're naked in bed with someone else. That's a pretty basic rule" You crack me up! I didn't see the movie and don't plan on it. I really hate when movies have generally sane characters talk to dead people's ghosts like they are really there, as the dead character is back having a rational conversation. If was just the letters........that's fine, but watching the previews proves they didn't stick with it.

  7. stephkitten says:

    I am a woman who readily admits to a strong weakness for rom coms and other chick flicks, yet as soon as I saw a preview for this one, I knew I wouldn't like it. I was astonished that it even entered someone's head to put Hiliary Swank...who is quite possibly the most unattractive and least female-looking female actress I can think of...as the female lead. Even while watching the preview, all I could think about was how unattractive she is...I can't imagine subjecting myself to the entire film.

  8. Virginia says:

    I find it amazing that No One mentioned Gerard Butler's name anywhere in all the reviews I've read. I'm actually grateful because I love him, but I knew in the first 60 seconds of previews that I would not see this film. Hilary Swank?? You've got to be kidding. She is unattractive and full of anger. How could they possibly cast her in what could have been a severely romantic and moving film paired with an incredibly sexy and capable Gerry B. for a co-star?! Ruined it for me. What a waste of Gerry's time, talent, and good looks. :(

  9. B says:

    Poor Hilary Swank. Is she really that much more unattractive than Sandra Bullock? At least she can act, but I agree she should steer away from romantic comedies.

  10. Michelle says:

    I think you may all be on crack. Hilary Swank may not be the most girly of all actors. But that doesn't mean she isn't stunning. I think she is very pretty, and she doesn't have to do the same thing over and over, variety is good.

    Examply Jim Carey playing someone serious and disturbed in Number 23, when usually he does comedies.

    I mean come on. Gesh.

    Maybe you guys are getting her confused with someone else.

  11. Tyler! says:

    To stephkitten:
    I submit for your consideration Sarah Jessica Parker.

    To Michelle:
    No. We're not.

  12. I love JD Morgan says:

    Hillary was the wrong actress here. Lisa Kudrow would have been the better choice, and a better foil for the gorgeous dark men in this move. Jeff Dean Morgan is the most fetching man since Sean Connery.

  13. stephkitten says:

    Tyler!: ha, noted - I'd say they are about tied in my book :)

  14. shortie says:

    I personally think Hillary Swank is exceptionally gorgeous, manly for the fact that she is so exotic looking. It's the contract and differences that make life beautiful people!!

  15. Phil says:

    So how much you like a chick flick is based on how feminine the lead is? Frankly, I thought the movie was pretty dumb, but I don't see what's wrong with Swank. No woman working today would have made this movie any better.

  16. Jessica says:

    ok I actually enjoyed the movie... I am a lover of the chick flicks i might add... I know it could have been cut shorter ... But I think that the story was well-written, For sure I will read the book too. I thought that Hilary Swank was marvelous for the role and I can't see anyone besides her doing such a good job. She seems to really make acting look easy. For the few people who like feeling the emotional pulls on their heartstrings every now and then this would be the movie for you. For those who don't like to think about love in their lives, and find this movie to be a bore, well maybe you should just stay away from these types of movies.. The title itself screams that it would be a chick flick. seriously.

  17. Jen says:

    I agree with Eric, this is obviously a role typecast for Sandra Bullock. But you have to wonder, if Sandra (presumably) turned it down and the best they could get was Hilary Swank... How good of a movie can it be?

  18. youngteacher says:

    wow! i am headed to see this movie in a couple of hours with a girlfriend of mine. i will be anxious to write back my comments on the movie. it was my idea to go see it, but you all have almost completely talked me out of it.

    hoping i LOVE IT!

  19. Jacob says:

    And here we have one more reason for the failure of America's education: even our teachers don't know the basic rules of capitalization . . .

  20. tricia says:

    Well, I went to see the movie this afternoon with my sister, not knowing anything about it at all, other than the fact that H. Swank was in it. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered what it was about. I would have NEVER gone to see this movie today, because six weeks ago tomorrow, MY husband of 32 years passed away! This hit way too close to home, I sobbed very loudly through parts of it, and really should have left when I realized what it was about! But the music was good. The weird thing is, everyone kept asking me if I wanted to go see The Bucket List, and when I told them what it was about, they were like, oh no, don't go see that (my husband had cancer). Today's movie was WORSE! But I survived it, and now I guess I need to learn how to decorate shoes, go to Ireland (did this guy have a multi million dollar life insurance policy?), and meet a new guy. I think I'll pass.

  21. holly says:

    whats the matter with you? Hillary is most definitely NOT ugly! you people are just too judge-mental and probably have no one for yourself... besides that, some people like a change in films. if its still considered a chick flick why should it be the same as all others? it looks like a pretty awesome film to me, i cant wait to see it

  22. Jen says:

    I don't think Hilary is unattractive, she just doesn't look like a woman. Therefore it is difficult to believe her performance in feminine movies.

  23. Nancy MCMickle says:

    I would certainly like to see this movie. But,it doesn't seem to be out on DVD at any of the Blockbusters & when I ask the personnel about it they all seemed to think I was crazy except for one customer, she had heard of it. When I got home I got on my computer & cannot find where it has or is going to be released on DVD. I like Hiliary & I think she is a vey attractive woman. Certainly with her & along with the whole cast whom I like them very much I'm sure it is a good movie,if I can ever find it. AS far as the lady whose husband has died I'm certainly sorry,but mine left me on Valentines Day 07.

  24. kate says:

    I think the movie was beautiful. yes hilary isnt typically beautiful but when she laughs n smiles her faces lights up and thats where the beauty is. the character in the book is awkward and unsure of herself and what she wants to do in life.. and yes some people dont like films where the ghost of the person seems to be there one minute and gone the next but until you lose someone that has always been there and then their not u wont understand that sometimes it does feel like they r still holding you or talking to you. And so what if she finds out she has just had sex with her dead husbands best friend and they talk about him.. if u watch the film closely you will see that she is shocked at whats she's done but then william shows her its ok. and that they both loved gerry in their own way so what if they share stories at that point I think both of them have forgotten all about what has just happened and are focusing on what bonds them.

  25. Aly says:

    I would like to begin by saying that I really loved this movie. I would like to follow up by saying to some of those leaving comments that I don't think it's fair that people who are obviously opposed to 'chick flicks' and Hilary Swank should leave comments for this film. If you haven't see the movie how can you leave a comment about wether it will/won't/is/isn't good. And if you have no intentions of going to see the movie, why are you reading reviews about it? If you dislike Hilary Swank so much You shouldn't be wasting your time posting comments about her or her movies. If you're doing that....guess what....she's winning!!

    Reading through the comments it sucks that the movie was mostly judged by Hilary's passed roles and how she looks. Just because she can play strong women or 'manly' women does not mean that she always has to play those characters. I say Kudos to her for trying something new. As for her looks....I think she's lovely. A large part of why I like her is that she is not your typical female stereotype. She does not need 10 pounds of make-up and she doesn't look so fragile that she'll snap in half anytime the wind blows. She doesn't half procelaine skin and she might not have a waif like figure. But guess what? That's what REAL women look like.

    As for the actual movie- I agree - talking about your dead husband with the man you just slept with is a little....no....ALOT creepy. haha. However, it DOES fit with the context of the movie and it's part of the story. I thought the film was romantic. I loved that it was funny. Otherwise it would have been TOO sappy. I thought Lisa Kudrow was HILARIOUS! Even on friends she used to crack me up and I liked that she tried a slightly different role as well. What I didn't like about the film? The overly happy sister with no acting skillsé If anyone should be critiqued in this film it's her. All of her lines seemed forced and were unconvinving. I didn't really get the point of her character in this movie. Maybe it was to bring some happiness to it? To give it a lighthearted feel? If so they should have found someone els...I found her a little bit irritating.

    Gerard Butler. Need I say more? He was funny, smart and romantic. Everything that the role called for.A true talent. I find his acting so genuine. He really gets you to believe in his characters. I also think that him and Hilary Swank had GREAT chemistry on screen.

    I'm not trying to tell anyone that their opinion is wrong. Everyone is entitled to heir opinions, heck, I just wrote a crap load of my own. I just think that before judging a film by who is acting in it, what the actors look like and wether or not there are talking dead people in it, you should at least TRY to give it a chance.

    BUT if I had to pick someone els for the role.I wouldn't have picked Sandra Bullock. She has worn this character much too thin. I would pick someone more like Liv Tyler or someone who would be new and fresh. I don't to to keep saying the same people in the same movie over and over again.

    Thanks to anyone who actually took the time to read this.
    Give it a fair chance.
    The movie isn't ALL bad. haha.
    It's actually pretty good.

    Happy Viewing :P

    P.S Even though I DID like the movie and disagreed with the review ....This is probably the funniest review I've read in a long time. Thanks for giving humour instead of negativity. I'll definitely be checking back for more reviews.

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