P.S. I Love You (2007)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Romance
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 127 minutes - $28.98 || May 6, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-05-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Writer(s): Cecelia Ahern (novel); Richard LaGravenese and Steven Rogers (screenplay)
Cast: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Harry Connick Jr., Gina Gershon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kathy Bates, James Marsters


Theatrical Release Date: December 21, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Additional Scenes
  • A Conversation with Cecelia Ahern
  • Music Video
  • The Name of the Game Is Snaps: Learn How to Play


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85), Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Losing a loved one is a terrible thing to go through. It’s tough to move on, something Holly Kennedy (Swank) discovers after her husband of 8 years, Gerry (Butler), discovers after he dies from a brain tumor. Despite help from her friends (Kudrow, Gershon) and her opinionated mother (Bates), she just can’t move on... until Gerry helps her after death. On her 30th birthday, Holly receives a cake and tape recording from Gerry telling her that she will be receiving letters written by him which she must follow. One letter he tells her to sing karaoke and another sends her on a trip to Ireland where the couple first met.

Writer-director Richard LaGravenese, who previously worked with Hilary Swank on Freedom Writers, team up once again for an emotional but very uneven dramedy. P.S. I Love You has some great acting especially from pros like Swank and Gerard Butler along with some nice support with Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon, both of whom were sorely missed in the last 30-minutes. The problem with the film isn’t the acting but the writing or adaptation by LaGravenese himself. Over the course of the 120-minute runtime – quite lengthy for something in the genre –, the film doesn’t quite feel right. I like how LaGravenese integrated flashbacks showing how Gerry and Holly met and fell in love but it was at times a bit melodramatic.

However, P.S. I Love You works overall because of a brilliant and moving performance by Hilary Swank and, frankly, I expect no less from an Oscar winning actress like her. Unlike some who have won Oscars, Swank seems to have thus far avoided making turkey. Sure, The Black Dahlia wasn’t great, but at least it had potential unlike, say, Catwoman. Point is Swank turns in a marvelous performance in this film. Is it award-worthy? Probably not. Yet it is because of her that the film is even worth watching in the first place.

Another issue I had, and this is minimal when it comes to my enjoyment of the film since I knew going in what it was about, but this seems to be publicized as a “romantic comedy”. While indeed there is comedy here and plenty of it funny, the overall tone is nothing but drama. Nothing on the DVD cover (front or back) reveals this so I, your humble critic, thought it wise to reveal that so one doesn’t watch expecting one thing and finding something else entirely (for those who don’t know the origins, of course).

The movie is based upon the novel written by Cecelia Ahern who is also the creator of a new ABC TV series called “Samantha Who?” and has another adaptation in the works, If You Could See Me Now. Novels are a tough thing to translate to the big screen. First, the writer must cut out a lot of exposition, but by doing so, you also have a harder time fleshing out characters. Although I give Richard LaGravenese and co-writer Steven Rogers credit for doing a good job on developing Holly and Gerry’s relationship, other elements that would’ve made this a great movie were ignored.

Overall, P.S. I Love You has some flaws with the storytelling, something I’ve seen time again with novel to screen adaptations, but with some solid acting from Swank and Butler and the other supporting characters, it’s far from a mess. As long as you know it’s more serious than what the advertising lets on, you too might like it.

The film co-stars Harry Connick, Jr. (Hope Floats), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “Supernatural”) and James Marsters (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), who is sadly underutilized.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This is a lightly packaged DVD with really a minimal amount of features and what is there isn’t that great.

A Conversation with Author Cecelia Ahern (7:30) – This is sort of a combo interview with a bit of ‘making-of’ aspects taking us from Cecelia Ahern’s early day as a budding writer to the movie. This is the only feature presented in anamorphic widescreen.

Additional Scenes (12:34) – 5 scenes are included and with the exception of one, where Holly tries to repair her friendship with Sharon (Gershon), are throwaways and excised for what I can only to be pacing issues.

The disc also contains a music video (3:51) by James Blunt and a strange featurette introducing you to the The Name of the Game is Snaps (4:48).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

P.S. I Love You is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.85 OAR. The film looks good though it’s nothing that outstanding given the genre. This disc also contains a full screen version on the other side for those who for those who might have a smaller TV. I believe the widescreen version was matted so you won’t be losing much picture.

The same can be said for the audio as well. The DVD offers a fine Dolby Digital 5.1 track that mainly uses the middle speaker for dialogue with music taking up other speakers. There are also tracks in French and Spanish along with English, French and Spanish subtitles.



.::OVERALL::.

P.S. I Love You is a nice film with a couple great performances. The DVD isn’t up to snuff when it comes to features and given it did decent business, I would’ve hoped for more. But all in all any fans of Swank or anyone who wants a solid dramedy might want to give this a try.