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P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You isn't as pathetically sappy as the title might sound. OK, maybe it is a little, but the film is still a serviceable romantic flick guaranteed to produce sighs and tears.


Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) doesn't know how lucky she has it. She's smart, beautiful and married to Gerry (Gerald Butler), a passionate, funny and impetuous Irishman who loves her with every breath in his body. But when that breath runs out--Gerry dies unexpectedly from an illness--Holly's luck runs out. Barely coping, her salvation arrives in the form of letters from Gerry that come to Holly in unexpected ways--letters he wrote to her before he died to help her get through the pain and move on with her life, and letters that always end with "P.S. I Love You." A saint, huh? Holly's mother (Kathy Bates) and best friends Sharon (Gina Gershon) and Denise (Lisa Kudrow) begin to worry Gerry's letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but, in fact, each letter pushes Holly on a journey of rediscovery and to show her how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into new beginning for life. Tissues, please!


Swank will be damned if she pigeonholes herself into always playing serious women who don't wear makeup. P.S. I Love You is her stab at romantic dramedy, and while the genre may not suit her best, the Oscar-winning actress still has fun playing a spirited woman who wears designer clothes, cute hats and gets to make out with a strapping Irish hunk. Actually, Swank gets to bed TWO strapping Irish hunks in P.S. I Love You: The first is the yummy Butler, of course, and the other is Gerry's old bandmate William, played by American Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who'll be seen in the upcoming romantic comedy The Accidental Husband with Uma Thurman). Lucky girl. Butler, however, is the one the ladies will sigh over the most. Having already given a powerhouse performance this year as the Spartan king in 300, the Scottish actor turns the tables to show his soft underbelly as the adorably romantic and fun-lovin' Gerry. The abs still rock, though. One can easily see why Holly is such a mess after he dies. Gershon and Kudrow add some genuineness as Holly's friends (someone please find a Kudrow a TV show), as does Bates as Holly's hardened mother. Harry Connick Jr., however, seems out of place as Holly's would-be suitor. She just needs to stick with the Irish guys.


Hilary Swank teams up with her Freedom Writers director Richard LaGravenese once again for P.S. I Love You, and it's clear they have a symbiotic relationship. Swank probably likes the way LaGravenese accentuates her best features, turning her into a glam leading lady, while LaGravenese obviously enjoys gazing at her through his camera lens. Unfortunately, the two really haven't found the best material. Freedom Writers is the mother of all teacher-gets-students-motivated retreads, while P.S. I Love You--based on a novel by Cecelia Ahern and adapted by LaGravenese and Steven Rogers--is just pure fluff with very little substance behind it. Not that the film won't inspire some romantic feelings or work up tears, but its only real strengths are: 1) the players who somehow rise about the triteness of it all, especially Butler, and 2) the gorgeous landscapes of Ireland, which should send any woman in her right mind straight to the Emerald Isles to find her perfect man. Seriously, ladies, book your trips NOW.

Bottom Line rated this film 2 stars.