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Review: Letters To Juliet

'Tis torture, and not mercy
By SHAULA CLARK  |  May 12, 2010
1.5 1.5 Stars

After tugging at our heartstrings in Dear John, Amanda Seyfried once again takes on the role of a do-gooder infatuated with letter writing. Here her Sophie is a lowly New Yorker fact checker engaged to self-absorbed, hyperactive chef Victor (Gael García Bernal).

On a star-crossed “pre-honeymoon” in Verona (the setting of Romeo and Juliet), Sophie falls in with the Secretaries of Juliet, volunteers who answer the anguished notes that lovesick puppies deliver to Casa di Giulietta. Sophie’s soulful response to Claire (Vanessa Redgrave, slumming it) inspires the older woman to find her lost love, Lorenzo — and Claire brings both Sophie and her surly grandson (Christopher Egan) along for the ride.

Eye candy abounds, but it’d be easier to enjoy that sun-drenched scenery if director Gary Winick weren’t so hell-bent on cramming clichés down our throats that include square-jawed hunks riding in on white horses and scaling balconies.

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