Based on the novel by Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You is a romantic comedy about Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), a young New Yorker who has to get back on her feet again after her charming Irish husband, Gerry (Gerard Butler), dies of a brain tumor. On her 30th birthday, she discovers that he has devised a plan before his death to get a serious of letters to her to help her move on.
I have a complicated reaction to P.S. I Love You. As far as romantic ‘comedies’ go (it’s a little too bittersweet to just be billed as a comedy), it’s probably a touch above average. Co-written by Richard LaGravenese (Freedom Writers, The Horse Whisperer) and Steven Rogers (Kate & Leopold, Hope Floats), the movie is clearly a little more Rogers than LaGravenese—despite the fact that LaGravenese also directed.
By that I mean, the story is mostly predictable and sappy and the lead characters in particular are very one-dimensional. Swank (Freedom Writers, Million Dollar Baby) is okay (she’s better in character work and her uber-cute wardrobe gets distracting, and Butler (300, The Phantom of the Opera) is sufficiently hunky and tempting. Yet the supporting cast--especially Holly’s best friend Denise (played by Lisa Kudrow) and her potential love interest Daniel (played by Harry Connick, Jr.)--are extremely well-written and have a few very funny moments. And there were several times that the story actually went a way I didn’t expect it to—which was a welcome surprise.
All told, the point must be made—shmoopy or not, the movie worked for me. You show a dead loved one, and I pretty much well up—and that’s P.S. I Love You’s stock and trade. The second Gerry was dead, I turned on the water works—and then again, and again, and again until I was sitting in a pool of tears collecting on my sweater. I actually lost count of how many times I started crying, but it's definitely more than you can count on one had. It may as well be a drinknig game.
P.S. I Love You is, in short, a movie for sentimentalists. I can’t see it being the type of movie the standard heterosexual male will be able to sit through without wanting to blow his face off with a howitzer, but if you want to get your date softened up for after the movie, it just might be the cinematic equivalent of Spanish fly. Just bring your Kleenex.