The story begins with a fight. Holly (Swank) is running up a seemingly endless flight of stairs with Gerry (Butler) in hot pursuit. He's apologizing, but like a typical male, he's really not quite sure what he did wrong--he just wants to make up and not sleep in the bathtub.
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.