P.S. I Love You
Just What the Romance Doc Ordered

Before P.S. I Love You hits the theaters, I am rushing online to reserve DVDs of everything in which Gerard Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have had roles. Once the movie is generally released, I believe the men will be responding in the same way to Hilary Swank. This movie is the best romantic drama/comedy to come through the projector in some time.

Holly and Gerry Kennedy (Swank and Butler) love each other passionately but the passion bristles with the pins of Holly’s neuroses about being responsible and having set plans and goals versus Gerry’s care free, joie d’vivre approach to life. When Gerry dies unexpectedly, Holly discovers that he has left a legacy of letters that are carefully thought out and delivered at perfect moments and are meant to help Holly move on in life and find love and purpose again. The movie is the story of her journey and to say more would completely spoil the fun but I will tell you that I intend to add P.S. I Love You to my collection when it finally is released for home viewing.

Richard LaGravenese, director of P.S. I Love You

Since I cannot reveal a lot about the plot line, allow me to wax poetic about the cast. Hilary Swank is nothing short of dynamic; and it is such a pleasure to see her comedic side along with her dramatic talents. She has the audience in the palm of her hand, experiencing every emotion right along with her. Team this with my opinion that she is drop dead gorgeous and wears lingerie without looking like a tart, and you’ve definitely got a recipe for success.

Ladies…if you thought Gerard Butler was beautiful as Leonidas in 300, you don’t really know him until you’ve seen his comedic and romantic sides. He and Swank are pure magic together, as are Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Swank when they meet later in the film. These men are hunks with brains—a combination rapidly approaching the Endangered Species List. And, Butler holds up quite nicely without a computer enhanced six-pack!

The peripheral cast is also quit pleasing with the exception of one discordant note in Lisa Kudrow. She just does not seem able to leave Phoebe (Friends) behind and although her character in P.S. I Love You does not distract from the movie as a whole, her Denise could have been left out without damage to the screenplay.

Richard LaGravenese, who co-wrote and directed this film, succeeds in presenting a work of great beauty with locations in New York City and Ireland. He uses some very interesting and unexpected camera angles that surprise, yet delight. His direction of the camera brings out the best in his settings and actors and “loves” them lavishly. Even the froggy Henry Connick, Jr., who plays the scruffy socially inept nonconformist that thinks Holly should begin again with him, becomes a prince in the eye of the camera.

The cinema has needed a really great love story for some time. P.S. I Love You fulfills a longing for the desire to get away from happily-ever-after and into the exploration of relationships in which real people can see themselves. This film explores the struggle of mixing different ideologies and blending lives, maintaining autonomy while also uniting into one. The complete honesty of the emotions—pathos, laughter, anger, sorrow, love…even hatred at timesis experiential. Gerry and Holly are real people into which creators LaGravenese, Butler, and Swank never insinuate themselves.

LaGravenese also thoroughly explores the process of grieving and how attitudes about what is proper and what isn’t differ greatly among people. The epiphany reached through Holly’s pursuit of purpose is really quite unexpected. Holly, who thought she was the adult, grows up through the process of being tested and fired in the kiln of pain and grief that are part of life. Kathy Bates (who plays Holly’s mother) has two of the best lines in the film. After the delivery of the last letter, mom has this to say:

If we are alone in this (grief and suffering), well, then we are together in that, too. This life… none of us survive it.

It is the simplicity of these statements of the common condition of every human being that makes us realize that we are never alone and we all have to live the reality of suffering and eventual death.

P.S. I Love You is rated PG-13 for “sexual references and brief nudity.” The only blatant nudity is a view of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s backside, but there are several scenes of activity under the covers and walking around in underwear. This is not a children’s movie. Only people who understand the difficulty of building and maintaining adult relationships will get the humor and appreciate the struggle. This is a great date movie for those married or unmarried. The married will recognize much about themselves and the unmarried will get a look at what might be ahead for them.

Courtesy of a local publicist, Kathy attended a promotional screening of P.S. I Love You.