Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: DVD Review: P.S. I Love You - Pulling Punches Causes Romance to Miss the Mark

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

DVD Review: P.S. I Love You - Pulling Punches Causes Romance to Miss the Mark

by Tony Dayoub

A clever idea gives P.S. I Love You a little more of an edge than normal. Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), a widow, starts receiving letters from her late husband Gerry (Gerard Butler). The letters are designed to help her deal with his death, and move on. They start out cute: go buy yourself an outfit, go out with the girls on a night out, get onstage and sing some karaoke. But by the time Gerry sends Holly on a trip to his native Ireland to a club where he used to play, and she hears the house band sing the first song he sung to her... well, there is more than a little manipulation from dear old Gerry from beyond the grave.

The film is not quite lighthearted enough to be a comedy. It is also not tragic enough to be a full-on tearjerker, either. But with a subtext that seems to be screaming that the charming Gerry, though dead, is not exactly ready to be metaphorically buried, it would have been extremely daring to veer in that direction.

The cast is there to pull it off. The two stars are genial, but better known for their dramatic roles. And with the oddball supporting cast that not only contains Harry Connick, Jr., Gina Gershon, and Lisa Kudrow, but also Buffy the Vampire Slayer's James Marsters in a strong extended cameo, the opportunity exists to do more with this film than the trifle ultimately depicted.

Neither comedy nor tragedy, the film plays more like one of those dramatic episodes of Sex and the City where Samantha was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Yeah, I'd watch it once, but it's hardly a keeper. Skip this one.

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