FILM FRIDAY: P. S. I Love You

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P. S. I Love You was a surprisingly fun movie to watch. And quite frankly, just what I was in the mood for: something light, escapist, and not cheesy. I admit, I was very pessimistic about me liking the movie at first. (I got wind of a lot of negative reviews.) But when the screen faded out and the credits rolled, I felt remarkably pleased, even giddy.

My favorite part of the movie was the relationships between the romantic leads. Gerry and Holly were really sweet together. And Gerry was so good to Holly. His patience with her during their big argument scene was unbelievable. (Try being even-toned the next time your wife picks a heated fight with you over something trivial.) And does anything really need to be said about his having arranged the whole letter thing? Amazing. What gets me isn’t the showiness of it all. What gets me is the heart behind it. Gerry knew his wife so incredibly well. He knew she would have a very difficult time coping with his death. He knew she would need him to walk her through the grief. And so he went out of his way, while battling what must have been a lot of physical pain — I’ve never had one, but brain tumors don’t sound like fun — to plan and arrange everything, so that Holly could move on afterward in a healthy manner.

I also liked the romance between Holly and William, and the manner in which it was handled in light of Holly’s grief and Gerry’s death: how their attraction was so obvious and so mutual, yet William held back a bit when he saw how Holly was still unready to move on. (It would have been so weird — and a tad too unbelievable — if the two of them got together when they could have!) I’m miffed that they didn’t get much screen time together, but quite pleased by the scenes we did get of them interacting. Gosh, they were so cute together.

Some of the lines in the movie were hysterically funny, and quite clever. Others, insightful and humorous. Here are some of my favorites:

“We’re so arrogant, aren’t we? So afraid of age, we do everything we can to prevent it. We don’t realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone. Someone who doesn’t drive you to commit murder or doesn’t humiliate you beyond repair.”
— Daniel Connelly

Denise Hennessey: [Denise is admiring Ted as he walks by] Ooohhh, he’s delicious isn’t he? I’d serve coffee on that a**.
John McCarthy: Do you have to be so vulgar about men? Like they’re pieces of meat?
Denise: I’m sorry, John. I forgot you’re sensitive about your flat a**.
John: You know, Denise, that’s why you’re not married. Women act like men. Then they complain men don’t want them.
Denise: Oh, is that why? ‘Cause I thought it was something different. I thought that it was ’cause I deserved the best and he’s out there. He’s just with all the wrong women. And let me be clear. After CENTURIES of men looking at my tits instead of my eyes and pinching my a** instead of shaking my hand, I now have the DIVINE right to stare at a man’s BACKSIDE with vulgar, cheap appreciation if I want to!
Sharon McCarthy: Well said!
Denise: Yeah, well, I thought so.

Gosh, I loved the bits between Holly and her girl friends at the pub.

Holly Kennedy: I left without saying anything. He must think I’m an idiot.
Denise: Well, you’re an American. They expect us to be idiots.

Sharon: [Convincing Holly to go talk to William] Plus you’re an American. You’ve got the foreign exotic stuff going for you.
Holly: Oh there is nothing exotic about being an American.
Sharon: Well he doesn’t know that!

Some of the technical / creative aspects of the movie didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t particularly like the camera work (ha, I sound like such a snob when I say that). Nor did I like the way the movie handled the flashback scenes. They just bled into the present day shots, which wasn’t terribly confusing, but caused the movie to feel jerky and a bit strange, as if there was no difference between what Holly was experiencing in the present day and what she was seeing through her memories. But I think what irked me most of all was Holly’s overall aesthetic. Her wardrobe looked too … random, as if the costume department had Hilary Swank throw on whatever was at hand. I didn’t see any sort of thematic unity with her costumes. In one scene, she’s wearing a loose, silky blouse of vibrant fuschia; the next, she’s donning a mint green top with a very Regency era vibe to it, complete with beaded embroidery; the next, she’s wearing a cream-colored turtleneck with a belted trench coat. Even if the idea was to make Holly look less made up, so to speak, and more “normal Jane,” by making her wardrobe look piecemeal, there should have been some unifying factor to it, like a color palette, or a specific style of clothes, just like anyone’s wardrobe. I don’t know if I can say that the lack of a theme totally threw off the feel of the movie, but I felt noticeably distracted by the seeming randomness of Holly’s costume choices. I think a more cohesive wardrobe would have attributed to the overall cohesiveness of the film.

P. S. I Love You was a fun movie to watch. And just what I needed that day. (Work has been pretty crazy these last couple of weeks.) I think I’m willing to buy the DVD, since I could see myself watching it again. And again. And maybe again. But for the time being, I think I’ll stick to hunting down a cheap copy of the book by Cecelia Ahern, which the movie is based off of. I’ve heard some pretty negative reviews of the book, calling it trite and akin to something from the realm of badly written fanfiction. But I’m keeping an open mind. Who knows, it may just surprise me.

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