Blu-ray Review: Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet Blu-ray/DVD boxSTUDIO: Summit Entertainment | DIRECTOR: Gary Winick | CAST: Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave
RELEASE DATE: 9/14/2010 | PRICE: DVD $26.99, Blu-ray $40.99
BONUSES: deleted and extended scenes, featurettes, commentary
SPECS: PG | 105 min. | Romance | 2.35:1 | DTS-HD 5.1 audio | English, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Letters to Juliet movie sceneAmanda Seyfried goes back to her Mamma Mia roots — minus the ABBA songs — with romance movie Letters to Juliet. Eschewing her sexy side from Chloe, Seyfried plays a sweet fact checker who believes in true love.

Letters to Juliet follows the modern romance formula of Maid of Honor and Leap Year. Instead of girl meets boy, girl fights with boy, girl loves boy, these movies follow girl has boy, girl finds better boy, girl loves new boy. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the first boy per se, he’s just, in this case, preoccupied with his life, and Juliet — us — want more, we want the man who is interested in what we want, who believes in us, who has time for us, and that’s what new boy provides.

In Letters to Juliet, the first boy is Gael Garcia Bernal, a restauranteur who goes to Italy on a pre-wedding honeymoon with his fiancee (Seyfried as Juliet) and is more interested in Italy’s food and wine than in Juliet. The new boy, Eragon’s Christopher Egan, is an abrasive British man who softens after a few days with Juliet and shows his romantic side.

The movie also has double the romance, as, not only does Juliet find her Romeo (in Italy’s Verona no less), but she also helps a woman (Vanessa Redgrave) find the man she loved 50 years before (played by Franco Nero, Redgrave’s real-life husband).

The movie is light and breezy, filled with an upbeat score, and the performances are solid all around. So, it’s a perfectly servicable romance for repeat viewings.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray include the same special features, but the Blu-ray, for its higher price, is a Blu-ray/DVD flip disc, so fans can watch the high-definition at home and flip it to the DVD side to watch in, say, a portable player while traveling.

Among the special features are a pack of deleted and extended scenes and commentary with Seyfried and director Gary Winick.

Winick, Seyfried and others are interviewed in the making-of featurette also on the disc, and they talk about how wonderful it was to film the movie in Italy.

Finally, the theme of love continues in the “A Courtyard in Verona” featurette, which explores the influence of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and the real Juliet wall, where lovers leave Juliet letters seeking advice about their own romances. Authors Lisa Friedman and Ceil Friedman who wrote the Letters to Juliet book that inspired the movie, talk about the history of the Juliet wall and the group of women who write replies to all the letters left there.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.