Letters to Juliet

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Letters to Juliet
Letters to juliet poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gary Winick
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by Andrea Guerra
Cinematography Marco Pontecorvo
Edited by Bill Pankow
Distributed by Summit Entertainment
Release date(s)
  • May 14, 2010 (2010-05-14)
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Italy
Language English, Italian
Budget $30 million[1]
Box office $79,181,750[2]

Letters to Juliet is a 2010 American romantic drama film starring Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal, and Franco Nero. This was the final film of director Gary Winick. The film was released theatrically in North America and other countries on May 14, 2010. The idea for the film was inspired by the 2006 non-fiction book, Letters to Juliet, by Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman, which chronicles the phenomenon of letter writing to Shakespeare's most famous romantic heroine.

Plot[edit]

Sophie Hall (Amanda Seyfried) is a young American woman who works for The New Yorker as a fact checker. She asks her boss, (Oliver Platt) if, while she is in Italy on a pre-honeymoon with her fiance, Victor, if she could write while she is away, and potentially have something published in the magazine. Her boss shoots her down, telling her that she is already so good at her job and that he needs fact checkers like her, and she leaves work disappointed.

She goes on her pre-honeymoon with her chef fiancé Victor, (Gael García Bernal) to Verona, Italy. Victor is unmoved by the romance of Italy and uses his time to research his soon-to-open restaurant, often neglecting Sophie, much to her consternation. Sophie accidentally discovers an unanswered "letter to Juliet" by an English woman named Claire Smith from 1957, one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover's Verona courtyard that are typically answered by the "secretaries of Juliet". She answers it and within a week the now elderly Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) arrives in Verona with her handsome yet priggish barrister grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan). Claire and Sophie take an instant liking to each other, but Charlie and Sophie do not get along at first, for he feels as if Sophie is intruding on their lives and that his grandmother's soul-mate was his grandfather, and not her long-lost-lover.

Following the advice in Sophie's reply, Claire decides to look for her long-lost love, Lorenzo Bartolini (Franco Nero). Sophie, thinking Claire's story might help her with her writing career, and get her boss to take her seriously as a writer, offers to help Claire. Charlie, at first, tells Sophie that she is not welcome to come, but Claire eventually tells Sophie that she is more than welcome to come along on their journey. Charlie complains about another guest, and calls Sophie an intruder, but Claire tells him to make an effort to be nicer to Sophie.

The two women find out that there are multiple Lorenzo Bartolinis living in the area. They begin their journey, and stop at the side of the road in a remote area to stretch a bit. Claire tells Sophie about her past as a 15-year-old schoolgirl, and about how she first met Lorenzo, and about how it was love at first sight. She then asks Sophie to tell her about Victor, and Sophie explains their relationship and about how Victor is absorbed in his restaurant and that he hasn't given her an engagement ring. Sophie claims that, given his busy schedule, there aren't times for trivial things like that. Claire then asks Sophie how her parents feel about Victor, and Sophie claims that her father likes him. Claire asks about her mother, and Sophie sadly remarks that her mother abandoned the family when she was nine, gaining much sympathy from Claire.

After many days of searching for the right Lorenzo, the trio ultimately find that one is dead. Charlie, who had a day with Sophie where they spoke about their pasts (about Charlie's parents dying in a car accident, and an ex-girlfriend of his) and began to bond a bit, ultimately blames Sophie for his grandmother's sadness. He accuses her of not knowing what real loss is, causing Sophie to walk away from him in tears. Claire, witnessing the dispute, tells Charlie he was wrong and Sophie's mother had walked away from her when she was a little girl. Charlie, although clearly sorry for his mistake, tells his grandmother that his and Sophie's situations are different. Claire agrees, but says that, despite the fact that his parents didn't have a choice in leaving and Sophie's mother did, they have both experienced loss.

The next day, Claire insists that Charlie apologize to Sophie at breakfast, which he does. After dinner, Sophie finds Charlie lying on some grass outside their hotel, and two talk about love. Charlie asks her if she thinks that Lorenzo is really out there, and Sophie tells him that she firmly believes that he is, and the two kiss. Sophie, realizing that this will complicate matters with Victor as well, gets up and goes to her room, while an amused Claire watches from her window.

The next morning is their last day of searching for Lorenzo. Sophie is shocked when Claire tells her to sit in the front with Charlie, and Claire does all the talking on the drive, while Sophie and Charlie maintain an awkward silence with one another. On a whim, Claire points out a vineyard to Charlie and asks if he could stop so they can have a farewell drink for Sophie, as the wine was hers and Lorenzo's favorite. As Charlie drives down the road, Claire sees a young man who looks exactly like her Lorenzo, and commands Charlie to stop the car. They discover the man is Lorenzo Bartolini's grandson, and Sophie and Charlie also meet the boy's father, who tells them that his father went out riding, but would be back at any moment. Claire, feeling foolish, tells Charlie and Sophie that she feels stupid that he would remember her or want to see her after all this time, and tells them that she wants to leave. However, at that moment, Lorenzo (the right one this time) comes riding in dramatically on his horse, whereupon his son and grandson tell him about Claire's arrival. Claire walks towards him, and they both say that it has been many years, yet the two are clearly overwhelmed and pleased to see one another.

They spend time at Lorenzo's vineyard and lovely home, and Lorenzo tells Claire about the death of his wife, Rose, and tells her that, based on the fact that her husband Jack is also deceased, that fate meant for them to be together. He shows her around the vineyard and his home and land while Charlie says goodbye to Sophie, even admitting that he was wrong to kiss her because of her engagement. Sophie, clearly upset, tells Claire that she will call a cab to leave and meet Victor, and Lorenzo tells her that his son will take her back from Siena to Verona. Sophie accepts the offer and drives off, and Claire admonishes Charlie for not telling Sophie how he feels about her. She tells him "don't wait fifty years like I did" and tells him to go after her. He does, but notices how happy she seems to be with Victor, and leaves, with Sophie watching him drive away.

Back in New York, Sophie's boss tells her that he will publish what she wrote about Claire and Lorenzo. Later, Sophie breaks up with Victor, by telling him that she can't understand what their relationship is, and the fact that they didn't mind being apart from one another on what was supposed to be a honeymoon. Sophie soon returns to Verona to attend Claire and Lorenzo's wedding. She finds Charlie with another woman, Patricia, and runs out crying, as she believes Patricia is the ex-girlfriend that the two had discussed earlier. Charlie comes out to find Sophie, who by this time is standing in one of the balconies of Lorenzo's home, and ultimately admits she loves him but tells him to go back to Patricia. Charlie tells Sophie that the woman is his cousin Patricia and Sophie wonders how such a thing can be legal. He tells her that there are two Patricia's, and that he will uproot from London as long as Sophie will be in New York waiting for him, tells Sophie he loves her. He climbs up the vine to the balcony so that he can kiss her at her request, but accidentally falls down. Sophie, worried, runs down to where he has fallen and asks him if he is all right and if he can move. He claims that he can only move his lips, and they kiss as he lies on the ground as Claire, Lorenzo, Patricia, and all of the other wedding guests discover them.

Cast[edit]

  • Amanda Seyfried as Sophie Hall, a fact checker living in New York.
  • Christopher Egan as Charlie Wyman, Claire's grandson, who has troubles coming to terms with his grandmother loving anyone other than his late grandfather.
  • Vanessa Redgrave as Claire Smith-Wyman, the girl who wrote the letter to Juliet 50 years before, and is hoping to find her Lorenzo.
  • Franco Nero as Lorenzo Bartolini, Claire's love interest. Nero is Redgrave's real life husband. Roger Ebert, having interviewed both Nero and Redgrave on the set of Camelot, noted how much of the love story between their characters is nearly autobiographical.[3]
  • Gael García Bernal as Victor, Sophie's chef fiancé who is easily preoccupied with anything having to do with food, cooking, and the opening of his restaurant.
  • Luisa Ranieri as Isabella, the most important of the four original Juliet's secretaries in the film and a friend of Sophie's.
  • Marina Massironi as Francesca, one of Juliet's secretaries.
  • Lidia Biondi as Donatella, one of Juliet's secretaries.
  • Milena Vukotic as Maria, one of Juliet's secretaries.
  • Oliver Platt as Bobby, the editor of The New Yorker who wants Sophie to remain a fact-checker.
  • Daniel Baldock as Lorenzo Jr., the older of Lorenzo's sons.
  • Stefano Guerrini as Lorenzo III, grandson of Lorenzo.
  • Ashley Lilley as Patricia, Charlie's cousin who has the same name as his ex-girlfriend.
  • Luisa De Santis as Angelina, Isabella's mother.

Release and reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Letters to Juliet received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 40% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 146 reviews, with an average score of 5.1/10. Metacritic gave it an average score of 50 out of 100 from the 34 reviews it collected.

Box office[edit]

Letters to Juliet opened at #3 to $13,540,486 behind Iron Man 2's second weekend and Robin Hood.[4] In its second weekend, the film dropped 33.5% with $9,006,266 into #4.[5] The film eventually grossed $53,032,453 domestically and $79,181,750 worldwide.[2]

Soundtrack Lists[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fritz, Ben (16 May 2010). "First Look: 'Robin Hood' wobbly in U.S. but hits target overseas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Letters to Juliet (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ Roger Ebert. "Letters to Juliet Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  4. ^ Weekend Box Office Results for May 14-16, 2010 - Box Office Mojo
  5. ^ Weekend Box Office Results for May 21-23, 2010 - Box Office Mojo

External links[edit]