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STUDIO: Summit Entertainment
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• DVD Copy
A meddling young woman steals a love letter and hunts down two lovers.
Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero
Sophie is engage to workaholic Victor and she’s feeling downtrodden. During a visit to Italy, Sophia visits Juliet’s Garden in Verona. Noticing all the love letters left there and the dutiful Secretaries of Juliet, Sophie decides to pitch in help. Why does she care? Well, she’s a plucky American blonde whom the world hasn’t noticed for about a day. Taking a chance on destroying the lives of two strangers, she decides to play matchmaker. Ain’t love grand?
50 years ago, a British teenage girl named Claire decided not to run off with an Italian guy named Lorenzo. When Sophie discovers this via wanton vandalism, she decides to make it happen. This leads Sophie to her discovery of the Secretaries of Juliet, where she shakes them down. She does it in that cute brain-dead girl sort of way, where the foreign women just want to get rid of the vapid blonde asking too many questions. This sets Sophie out on a journey of discovery, where she very rarely turns the efforts inward. She is the quintessential Ugly American tourist.
Letters to Juliet is an ode to the Ugly American tourist. Sophie is set up as a young woman who has landed an easy job in the worst economic situations since the 1930s, yet she can effortlessly venture to Italy for a pre-honeymoon. Since her soon-to-be husband is too busy to have shit to do with her, Sophie charges out into the wilds of Verona for entertainment. After wrestling information from a variety of sources, Sophie tracks down the British lover Claire and talks her into traveling to Verona. Once Claire arrives, she introduces Sophie to her grandson. At this point, we start slipping into romantic movie cliche, as Sophie begins to forget about her fiance. It’s quite an ugly move, but no one directly addresses it.
You have a strong-arming blonde push her way through a cultural landmark. She steals private information from people she doesn’t know and she’s actively cruising for dick. Her poor fiance is working his ass off in his restaurant trying to raise money so that they can have a happy life together, but ol’ Sophie is about to yummy down on British beefeatin’ cock. During the journey to find Lorenzo, the focus shifts off Claire and goes back to Sophie and Claire’s grandson. The teenage target audience doesn’t give a shit about the Redgraves, they just want to listen to the titular character yammer on about nothing.
That’s when we start sliding into that really awful territory that these films make their nest. The viewer never gets to see Sophie’s fiance’s point-of-view, as every scene with him is tainted by being shot from Sophie’s perspective. He’s portrayed as never listening and not wanting to do what Sophie wants him to do at a given moment. Issues of personal responsibility and relationship direction are never addressed, as we’re frequently treated to Sophie pouting about how she never gets to do what she wants in the relationship. So, the spoiled cunt decides to take that quiet rage and direct it at strangers.
When Lorenzo finally shows up, Claire rushes to him and they start to make out like old people. Sophie and Claire’s grandson excuse themselves and catch up. Naturally, Sophie hasn’t been getting any for some time, so she tries to play this up with PG movie banter. Being that this is a preteen girl fantasy of the real world, nobody fucks. That’s right, people. If you’re still reading this, I just want to make it abundantly clear that nobody fucks. Your interest has gone from waning to nil. I understand that, it’s about the point where I stopped giving a shit.
make a Hollow Man rape joke. It’s just that I lack the humor of an SNL
writer. You know that whole take something that was once funny and run
it right into the fucking ground.
In the end, everyone gets together and the only responsible man in Italy is shown the door. Media concerns point to the dumbing down of America, but I don’t feel that’s real. America’s been dumber than a sack of deaf kids since the 1950s. What’s happening in America is evident in movies like this and the various reality programming shown on MTV. We are experiencing the dumb-cunting of this country. Little girls and teenage women are told that you don’t have to care about the direction of your life. You just have to look pretty and say things that won’t make a man’s dick shrivel.
If a man doesn’t respond positively to your schtick, then you dump his ass and move onto the next sucker. Pretty soon, we’re just going to have a nation of empty-eyed mouth breathing women bumping into each other, as they crowd into Sephora. These women whose mouths are agape only to spew the latest babble that they’ve picked up from their over-populated social networks. The decades will go on and this movement will become a Borg like entity of dumb. Always on the same cycle, always yammering about the same dumb bullshit and always not getting why men don’t give a fuck about what they have to say. That is the future, when you allow movies like this to prosper.
Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack keeps up the momentum of recent Summit offerings. You get a commentary from Amanda Seyfried and the director. There’s also a ton of featurettes about the source novel, Italy and the Secretaries of Juliet. If that wasn’t enough, you get deleted and extended scenes. You know that you want to see those. Everyone wants to see the extended ending where Franco Nero remembers that he still has a nutsack and shoots Big Love in the neck. Again, Summit makes uses of this weird dual layer disc that leaves me wondering when the digital bastard will rot.