Friday, December 12, 2008

P.S. I Love You - Movie Review


So, I'm premenstrual and feeling like I should want to eat chocolate and watch a bit of a chick-flick. I settle on a movie called "P.S. I Love You", which has been hailed as a howler of a tear jerker with a brilliant cast and all things soppy and wonderful. I buy microwave popcorn and fun size chocolate bars, make a big cup of tea with honey, close the blinds and settle in for a good cry.

But somethings wrong. Even with the smell of popcorn wafting gently from the microwave, the steam rising gentle from my tea cup and the chocolate nicely chilled, I'm just not feeling into it. But a plan is a plan and as they are few and far between these days it is more important that ever to pursue them relentlessly once they are made. So, "Dognabbit," I say to myself (perhaps a little too harshly than is appropriate to be received by one in such an unstable state as I am obviously in to not want to complete this perfectly wonderful and one would think absolutely appropriate plan), "I will be scoffing popcorn and chocolate, drinking tea and crying my stupid fucking eyes out!"

Scene one - two couples fighting. He (Gerard Butler - never heard of him but apparently quite well acclaimed by others who have) has an extremely unconvincing Irish accent that is meant to be charming and irresistible and she (Hilary Swank) is just bloody annoying. The premise of the fight is that he has said to her mother that she isn't ready to have children yet, which apparently something she has said but is still worthy of a tumultuous argument including storming out and make up sex at the end of it. All it all, I found this all too unbelievable, lacking humour where it seemed to be attempting to be funny in a quirky, love-irony kind of a way and with quite poor dialogue and character insights. For what should have be providing the foundations of the dynamics of this couple, it just went on too long and didn't seem to ever reach the points it was trying to aspire to.

Scene two - he's dead and they are holding a traditional Irish wake at her mother's (Kathy Bates - yes, I do like her and she works as per her usual, excellent and convincing standards and I did quite enjoy her scenes) traditional Irish pub (although she is actually American - go figure). Yes, this is outrageously sad and I was a blubbering mess. This scene also introduces Lisa Kudrow as one of two best friends, who is fairly tolerable throughout the movie despite the restrictiveness of the role she has been given to work with. This is also the introduction of Harry Connick Jnr. His character is stupid and poorly developed throughout the movie that you can never quite identify with - perhaps due to the ill-conceived personality that is based on being a person who is medicated for "rudeness" that is poorly explained other than not applying social filters during conversations but translates to nothing more than a few lines that are also meant to be funny but that just fall flat.

And so it goes on. The movie deals with Hilary Swanks' characters dealings with grief over the loss of her husband and is so inexpressibly sad in so many places but is very much ruined by the unbelievability of much of it. Even at the wake - he has been cremated and his ashes are there. And later that night she goes home and calls him mobile repeatedly until she cries herself to sleep just so she can hear his voice for a few brief seconds on his voice mail message but surely his phone would have been disconnected as he died of a brain tumour and new he dying. And how she can lock herself in her apartment for weeks on end and how he organised all sorts of things to happen after he died (singing telegrams, cakes, dry-cleaning, shopping sprees, holidays) when part of the fight in the opening scene was how they didn't have any money.

All in all it was a admittedly a very sad movie but the saddest part of all was in the poor writing. At the end of it I felt very flat and depressed that I had wasted so much time watching and crying over this stupid movie. It was poorly written and required too much release of every day reality to be anything approaching believable. The acting was ok and there were some very nice parts but for me this is a one and a half star movie.

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