P.S., I Love You (2007)
Directed by: Richard LaGravenese | 126 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, Harry Connick Jr., Kathy Bates, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, James Marsters, Dean Winters, Tony Devon, Mike Doyle, Marcus Collins, Stephen Singer, Eliezer Meyer, Sal Longobardo, Caris Vujcec, Chris Edwards, Christopher Whalen, Madalyn McKay, Don Sparks, Ryan Everett Canfield, Alexandra McGuinness, Bryan Webster, Roger Rathburn, Richard Wallace Smith, Mark J. Parker
Director and writer Richard LaGravenese must have had a good time with race actress Hilary Swank, while filming ‘Freedom Writers’ (2007). No sooner had the film come out than he went back into the studio with her to film his script ‘PS, I Love You’.
A few years ago, LaGravenese lost his father, a life-changing event that helped him as a filmmaker to make the grief of Holly very palpable. Furthermore, he apparently knows a lot about women, in a film that seems to be intended for women and is mainly populated by women. Their considerations, feelings and relationships are easy to follow.
The men in the film don’t shy away from their feminine sides, which is refreshing. They are tough guys, but with a soft touch. Just like women want, right?
The big surprise of the film is Harry Connick Jr., who gradually proves to be an excellent actor in addition to being a good singer, pianist and performer. Under LaGravenese, he stands out as Holly’s soul mate and potential new lover. Hilary Swank is also fine, but we didn’t expect that otherwise.
The story is quite original, although also a bit far-fetched; it is not very common to receive letters from your dead husband. Unless you see it as a fairytale, but it never will be. Holly’s reaction is also not entirely believable. You wonder whether someone would go along so quickly in this also lurid fact. But then you put your disbelief aside and it starts to work.
Slowly Holly becomes addicted to the letters, which perhaps could have been brought a little more poignantly. The film shifts a bit between comedy and drama. There are nice scenes in it, such as that trip on the rowing boat and a few moments here and there. Many situations and considerations are recognizable and credible and there is room to cry and laugh. Actors and actresses have a good time and go for it, with Lisa Kudrow on the funny note, though she holds back, it never gets hilarious.
What really undermines the strength of the film is the fact that everything is drawn out for too long. Dialogues are often too long and unfortunately especially in a few key scenes between Holly and Gerry. This doesn’t make ‘PS, I Love You’ a bad movie, but it could have easily been cut by half an hour. Then the data would have been sharper and attention would have remained longer. Kill your darlings, Richard!