NEW Butler/swank/kudrow/bates - P.s. I Love You (Blu-ray)
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Nine years' marriage and they don't have a lot to show--no kids, no careers, and only a five flight walkup. But, it's obvious that Holly and Gerry love each other very much.
The next scene is Gerry's wake. It's a bittersweet affair--and I confess to laughing when I heard the ironic "Fairytale of New York" (Gerry's favorite song) played and sung to by his priest.
A few weeks' later, the letters begin. While the film only shows Gerry's life and Holly's impressions of his 'ghost', we realize he'd understood his cancer would take him and planned to help Holly get through it past the grave. His letters encourage her to get out, sing Karaoke, even go to Ireland. Those missives literally help her find her dreams and go on with her life.
"PS I love you" is what I expected--and more. The cast, scenery, and especially the music all fit well together to elicit tears--and yes, occasional laughter.
Gerard Butler is fabulous as always. He's one of the best new actors around and I hope to see him for many years to come. I didn't expect that he could sing--and he does an excellent job on "Galway Girls."
In my opinion, Hillary Swank is the best part of the film. She's not your typical Hollywood ingenue. She's sometimes awkward, she doesn't always look perfect, and yet her ability to convey emotions from the highs to the lows very impressive. When she comes home from the funeral alone, picks up her cell phone and just keeps calling her home phone to hear Gerry's voice over and over on the answering machine literally brought me to tears.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the big teddy bear Billy Gallagher was also great. You've seen him before if you watched "Grey's Anatomy" playing Denny Duquette. I'm very glad to see him getting silver screen roles. If you like him, look for him in 2008 in "The Accidental Husband."
Only one warning--take some tissues with you. This film will make you cry--and occasionally laugh so hard you'll have tears in your eyes, too.
Holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerard Butler) Kennedy are a married couple with goals and frustrations and a huge dollop of passionate love, surrounded by friends and family. The tragedy happens just as the movie starts: Gerry has died of a brain tumor leaving the copeless Holly alone with her memories and self-inflicted regrets. But Gerry, knowing he was a terminal patient, devised his own plan to help Holly through that first year of grief: he left letters in various forms and places, advising Holly how to learn about his family and how to get on with life. Holly's mother (Kathy Bates) owns a bar and has supported her little family since Holly's father deserted his family years ago. In the bar is another injured soul named Daniel (Harry Connick Jr.) who fancies Holly but realizes she is far from ready to think about dating. Holly's friends Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon) accompany Holly to Gerry's pre-planned trip to his home in Ireland to meet the in-laws Holly never knew. While in Ireland Holly reminisces on the magic of first meeting Gerry, meets Gerry's parents as well as Gerry's best friend William (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and through it all manages to appreciate the gift of PS I Love You letters and reminders Gerry has left for her. And she ultimately finds closure to her loss.
The cast is strong and makes these at times strained characters into lovable people: Hilary Swank has made a successful entrance into the feminine lead role and is balanced to perfection by Butler, Morgan, Connick, Bates, Kudrow and Gershon. They make the implausible plausible and deliver a love story that goes beyond the level of superficial to join the ranks of warm and tender memorable slices of life. It is surprisingly good! Grady Harp, May 08
Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank0 has lost her husband (300's Gerald Butler). As she is in mourning over his loss, she recieves letters from her dead husband. From these letters, she starts to break out of her shell of widowhood.
With the help of her Girlfriends (Gina Gersion and Lisa Kudrow) and her mom (Kathy Bates), Holly starts to live again.
It is one of those nice romantic film to share with those you love. It is a throwback to the older 1950's type films where words and images are more important than car chases and curse words.
The Cast blends together so well you could believe this story is true. Swank's Holly is so on the money, you feel her pain and joy
This is not just another chick flix, it is a well done romantic comedy. It will tug on your heart strings..if it does, check with your doctor to make sure you have a working heart.
I only wish there was a director or actor commentary, which there isnt. I would have enjoyed hearing someone insights on how they made this film..but it is not needed with a film this good
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
Never mind--I was still moved by the light-hearted sentimentality of the story, so I have to give credit where credit is due. The film opens in wintertime New York City with Holly Kennedy (Swank) storming home, absolutely furious. Right behind her is her Irish husband, Jerry (Gerard Butler), who knows he's said something to offend Holly but doesn't know what. It isn't until they enter their apartment that they really let loose: Holly is offended because Jerry commented on her waiting to have children. Now back in their apartment, everything he says gets misconstrued in some way, and a full-blown fight ensues. It isn't long before they make up, however, and by the time they do, Jerry promises his wife that he isn't going anywhere, despite their financial troubles, despite their current job situations. After nine years, he still loves her. He'll always love her, no matter what.
Naturally, the very next scene takes place at his memorial service. The audience is thankfully spared the unnecessary melodrama of his failing health and eventual death; no such scenes are included in this film. The filmmakers wisely chose to focus on what happens afterwards with Holly, who--as you might have guessed--is so grief-stricken that she shuts herself off and lets herself go. It isn't until her thirtieth birthday that things begin to change; as her worried family and friends sit by her side, a birthday cake is delivered with a mini cassette recorder taped to the inside of the box. Holly presses the Play button and hears Jerry's voice explaining that he wrote her a series of letters as he was dying. Holly will receive them all over a period of time, and each one will instruct her to do something bold and adventurous. Basically, his words will push her into living her life without focusing so much on his death.
The rest of the film is all about Holly fulfilling her husband's last requests, from singing in a karaoke bar to meeting his parents back in his native Ireland (where--you guessed it--another letter waits). Her friends and family offer as much support as they can, all while engaged in their own minor subplots. Her best friend, Denise (Lisa Kudrow), is desperate to find Mr. Right, so desperate that she openly asks potential dates about their relationship status, their financial status, and their sexual orientation. Holly's mother, Patricia (Kathy Bates), loves her daughter but has trouble accepting Jerry's postmortem plan. She was never fully accepting of him to begin with; he and Holly married at young ages, meaning that a lot could have gone wrong. And Patricia definitely understands the pain of losing a husband (albeit under much different circumstances).
The most interesting side character is Daniel (Harry Connick, Jr.), who works for Holly's mother at a local bar. He claims to have a syndrome: his social filter is defective, meaning he'll say anything to anyone at anytime. He openly tells Holly that she's hot, that she's a terrible singer, and that he's getting sick of hearing about Jerry all the time. Part of the truth is obvious--he has feelings for Holly. The rest of the truth is not so clear-cut--he, too, has been deeply wounded by a past relationship. From this alone, the two are emotional matches. That doesn't necessarily mean that they would work as a couple, especially with the inclusion of William (Jeffery Dean Morgan), the man Holly meets on her trip to Ireland. So the question is raised: Will Holly and Daniel find romance in the midst of tragedy? Will Holly allow herself to love again, or even to let her life go in a new direction?
As fresh and exciting as I'm making this sound, the reality is that "P.S. I Love You" is a fairly routine story of love, loss, and emotional rebirth. That doesn't make it a bad movie by any means; in all honesty, I found it quite satisfying. Most of this has to do with Hilary Swank, who impressed me with her ability to transcend the heavy-handed, solemn movie roles she's known for. But the rest of the cast does a decent job, as well, doing justice to a well-established cinematic formula. I also appreciated the letter-writing plot point, simply because it was cleverly (if strangely) executed. Some may feel that Jerry's letter writing is a method of control, but do you honestly think that a romantic comedy would go that far? It's not control so much as it's a way to nudge Holly in the right direction--I believe that, were it not for his letters, she would mourn the rest of her life. And is it any coincidence that he ends every letter with the film's title?