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Love Letters [Import]

Steven Weber , Laura Linney , Stanley Donen    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably Laura Linney's Finest Perfomance on Film Feb. 23 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
LOVE LETTTERS has been on making the boards of theaters large and small across the United States (and translated into many languages and performances throughout the world!) since A.R. Gurney first wrote it in 1989. It is still a popular theater piece for actors from film who want to have public exposure on the stage, for benefits, for young actors in training. Why? Because it is an unassuming, interesting easy to perform in reading fashion by just two actors on a small stage, ultimately fine exploration of the variations love has in the periods of each of our lives. It is unpredictable, clever, well written and very meaningfully tender.

In this teleplay, revised for television screens in 1999 by A.R. Gurney, Stanley Donen directs this fleshed-out performing version with a cast that would be difficult to better. Simply stated, this is a epistolary love story that begins when Andy meets Melissa in second grade and progresses through their very different lives (art school, Yale, Vietnam, alcoholism, divorces, politics, affairs, etc) until Melissa ultimately dies (we know this from the opening scene so this is NO spoiler!).

The technique of mixing actual interaction between the two characters with remembered responses works very well. Part of the reason this small play becomes important is the extraordinary performance by Laura Linney as Melissa. The breadth of her characterization is richly detailed, subtle, vulnerable, and wholly credible. Steven Weber as Andy takes a while to warm to his character (the more difficult of the two with whom to identify) but in the end he gives his best work to date.

This is really a fine little movie, interrupted only by the obvious splices of time where commercials were probably inserted in the original television version. It flows naturally and never ceases to hold your attention and your heart as it is lovingly enacted by Linney and Weber. Grady Harp, February 2005
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true love story Sept. 2 2004
By T. C Gerlach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I caught the last hour of this movie on television completely by accident. I am an ardent letter writer..so as soon as I figured out the plot, I was hooked. The characters themselves catch you..you need to know what happens to them. This movie does not have what I would consider the typical hollywood love ending. Everything is not perfect, and you ache from it. The actors make you feel what they are feeling. The love, hate, indifference, and fear. I would recommend this movie to everyone. Honest.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with this movie when I was 18! Aug. 22 2004
By Kimberly Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
This was a movie I first caught when it came on TV five years ago. Something told me to tape it, but I didn't and I've regretted it since. I love this movie so much. It's the kind of classic love story that you never hear about anymore. They don't show these kinds of movies with characters embroiled in a passionate yet realistic romance. Even if this love story doesn't turn out the way typical romances do, it didn't give me false hope about romance in general, but it still helped me to believe in deep love. The kind of love few see in their lives. This movie proves that love can be great no matter how imperfect it is. Watch this movie and you'll get that feeling even if it is just for a moment.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Stage to Screen: Speaking Letters Oct. 25 2008
By Michael B. Druxman - Published on Amazon.com
As presented on stage, A.R. Gurney's popular play features an actor and actress seated at a table, reading a series of letters that describe their lifelong relationship. In fact, during the height of its popularity back in the early 1990s, Los Angeles audiences were treated to an ever-changing cast of stars, each pair staying with the production for a week or so, then relinquishing the stage to another duo.

For this 1999 television adaptation under the direction of Stanley Donen, Gurney opens up his play somewhat. True, most of it takes place in one room, with the two principals speaking the contents of their letters to each other, but this approach, surprisingly, works very well.

Steven Weber plays a U.S. Senator who has just attended the funeral of his friend, Laura Linney. Alone in his office, he begins to read the letters that they wrote to each other over the years, and Linney's spirit appears to deliver her half of the communications, thus the scenes play as a dialogue.

The two characters had met in grade school where they immediately fell in love. However, the fact that Linney was a rebellious, free-spirited girl, while Weber was more serious and down-to-earth, kept them from consummating their romance, except for a brief affair. Both married others, yet each was the great love of the other's life.

The actors are terrific in one of the most moving films I've ever seen. I can't recommend this one too highly.

© Michael B. Druxman
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching !!! March 22 2005
By M. Elizabeth - Published on Amazon.com
I, like Kimberly, by chance caught this movie on television about 5 years ago. I cried at the end and kicked myself in the head repeatedly for not taping it !! I have since been searching high and low for a copy of it only to learn today that it is FINALLY available on DVD! I was ecstatic to learn this and am ordering my copy immediately. The characters are realistic, you find yourself feeling what they are feeling. It is a hauntingly beautiful love story which brought me to tears. I highly recommend it. Ladies,(or gentlemen?)if you are feeling sentimental about someone, rent or buy this film, pop open a good Merlot or other libation, press "play" and enjoy!!!You will not be disappointed!!!

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