This review is part of a series of reviews of romantic movies for Valentine's Day. There will be twelve parts in this series. You can move through the reviews using the "previous" and "next" links at the bottom of this page or by clicking here.
Learning to Love Again
When Gerry dies of cancer -- unexpected by his wife, Holly, who had no idea that he was sick -- he leaves beyond a grieving wife who is unable to put her life together without him. Her entire world was so wrapped up in Gerry (who she'd been with for ten years, since she was nineteen years old) that she's barely able to get out of bed. She loses her job, wallowing in self-pity at home and missing her husband.
Then, on her birthday, her mother, sister, and friends arrive at the tiny apartment that she shared with Gerry, bringing along with them a cake. Inside the box for the cake is a tape recorder with a message from beyond the grave. Gerry tells his wife that it's time to stop wallowing and start living her life. She is to get dressed and go out to the club with her friends.
Alarmed at first, Holly continues to listen. Gerry promises her that the next letter will come in a week, and that she should be prepared for it. In the meantime, he wants her to get out there and live her life.
He ends his message with P.S. I love you.
The letters keep coming, one after another, with no explanation as to their true source. Gerry encourages his wife to live her life, to fall in love again. Through his letters, Gerry helps her to heal.
- Love letters are romantic, and make for a great romantic movie.
- Holly was able to go through a grief process instead of instantly falling in love.
- Ireland is a beautiful backdrop for a story.
- Gerard Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are yummy.
- Harry Connick Jr. is great as Daniel.
What I Liked about P.S. I Love You
First of all, just talking about this movie makes me cry, which is wonderful and touching. The story is special because it's not a traditional romance movie about two people who meet, fall in love, and struggle before getting married. In fact, it's rather the opposite: It's a movie about two people who meet, fall in love, get married, and then struggle. This is the story of Gerry's profound love for Holly and his incredible, giving nature. Men can learn from this movie what it means to show a woman that you love them. Gerry's plans for sustaining Holly after his death are remarkable, and it's very difficult for me not to cry when I think about this movie.
There are a few things that I like about P.S. I Love You.
I really enjoyed the love-letter format in P.S. I Love You. There's something powerfully romantic about love letters, and not every movie can pull off a combination of romance and love story. This one managed to be truly romantic because of its format, and because of Holly's grief experience and the letters that Gerry wrote to her.
I loved that P.S. I Love You wasn't dismissive of the grieving process. Many movies treat grief as though it is a flash of pain that goes away after a brief period of time. While this may be true for some people, those who have experienced deep, heartfelt love are inclined to grieve more deeply and for longer. This movie follows the grieving process through its entire length, and I like that.
Ireland was a beautiful backdrop for the love story. I'm pretty much obsessed with Irish love stories, so I really did enjoy this element of the movie. Seeing Ireland and Holly's reaction to it was priceless, and it made a great way to integrate the Irishness of Gerard Butler into the plot of the movie instead of putting it aside and dismissing it.
You get a really nice head canon at the end. I won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to trust me on this one!
- Hilary Swank wasn't right for Holly.
- Denise's part needed more development.
- Daniel's part needed more development.
- Holly was immature for her age and kind of mean, really.
What I Didn't Like about P.S. I Love You
Unfortunately, no movie is perfect, and P.S. I Love You isn't an exception to this rule. While I really do love the story and the characters (particularly Gerry) and the theme of the movie, I had a few problems that I'd like to put out there for you. Other than Gerard Butler, Kathy Bates and Harry Connick Jr., I felt that the cast was weak. Forgive me, because I want to make sure that you understand this isn't about physical attraction. While Gerard Butler is incredibly attractive, I don't find Harry Connick Jr attractive at all, and I do find Jeffrey Dean Morgan attractive, so this isn't about appearances: It's about fit for this movie.
Hilary Swank wasn't right for Holly. If you're looking for reviews of this movie, you'll find that this is a popular opinion. Hilary Swank just wasn't right for the female lead in this movie. The character is amazing, but she failed to bring the character to life on the screen, and I was bored with Holly and always looking for more Gerry. That seems unfair.
Denise's part in the movie seemed to be superfluous. While I understand the purpose of the character, I felt like there were gaps in her characterization that made her less important than if the issues were being dealt with in a linear fashion. Okay, I get that Holly is the lead role and that Denise shouldn't be overshadowing her, but more information about her issues would have made her more interesting.
Holly's dismissal of her mother's feelings was immature. She's a thirty year-old woman for heaven's sake! How can she not relate to what her mother was trying to tell her about her father? And where were her feelings regarding her own father? It seems that the character in this regard needed some work. On the other hand, this is one thing Hilary Swank pulled off well.
Final Thoughts about P.S. I Love You
I really did enjoy this movie. The theme -- and thinking about the theme -- makes me cry in a good way. It is probably the most romantic movie that I have personally ever seen. I'm not a huge fan of these types of movies personally, but I found P.S. I Love You to be a very romantic movie that made me feel good about having watched it.
If you're looking for something that is truly romantic then this is the best movie that I can recommend for you, and I think that you should see it straight away. If you're going to be spending Valentine's Day alone, this is a good one to pop into your DVD player, and you still have plenty of time to order your copy in time for February 14th!
You can get your copy of P.S. I Love You from the link to the right.
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti
Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indianapolis, Indiana on February 06, 2014:
I've never been to Ireland, though I've always wanted to go. The scenery reminded me of the UK's Southwest though, where I lived for several years.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 05, 2014:
I was with my German friend in the cinema. I accompanied her without knowing what the film was all about. From the start on I was thrilled and then I saw the landscape of Ireland and told my friend loudly, "I was there." What I mean was that I have been to that place in Ireland where the film was made. Awesome!
I love the movie and read the book later. It was indeed a romantic film. Thanks for reminding me. Great hub!