Oscar-winner Hillary Swank (“Million-Dollar Baby” and “Boys Don’t Cry”) is cast as Holly in this twist of a romantic comedy, co-starring Gerard Butler (“300” and “Phantom of the Opera”) as her husband Gerry. Holly is approaching 30 and waiting around for her life to begin. She hates her job, and can’t seem to hold one for very long without quitting. She obsesses about everything and is searching for the perfect plan to get her threw the rest of her life. Gerry is a free-spirited , and deeply passionate Irishmen desperately in love with Holly. So, when Gerry suddenly dies of a brain tumor, Holly is left alone without a plan, and without the only person who can help her. Holly goes into isolation and despair for weeks, locking herself alone in her apartment pouring coffee for her dead husband and listening to his voice on the answering machine.
Nobody knew Holly as well as Gerry, and as it turns out, before he died he wrote a series of letters to Holly to help her move past his death, and find joy in life. The first letter arrives on Holly’s 30th birthday. A cake is delivered, along with a tape recording from Gerry, much to Holly’s shock. Gerry demands she get up and go out with her friends and celebrate herself. More letters arrive in the coming weeks, each sending Holly on a new and unexpected journey. Her mother (played very well by veteran actor Kathy Bates) and best friends (Lisa Kudrow of “Friends” and Gina Gershon) begin to worry about Holly however, and believe Holly is putting too much on the letters and allowing herself to live in the past, but in reality, Gerry’s plan allows Holly to push herself into a new and brighter future for herself, and to recapture the youthful ambitions she left behind in this beautifully sweet tale of endless love and rediscovery.
P.S. I LOVE YOU offers no surprises, holds nothing back and is the better for both. In a heartbreaking and touching scene, the spirit of dead husband Gerry confessses to his widowed wife, “I’m not asking you to remember me…” and to move on with her life and find happiness. The film is suprisingly touching, and has a noticable charm. However, the film is also too long and often indulges itself needlessly and extends scenes or moments longer than it should. The first half of the film has a wonderful flow about it, and then Holly and her friends take a trip to Ireland and the film sorta faulters for awhile. Despite this, it is a sweet little movie and worth seeing. Harry Connick, Jr. lends his charm and humor incredibly well and has a great charisma with Swank. Butler’s performance as ill-fated Gerry is what stole the film for me. He carries more than a few scenes with Swank and has a wonderful and charismatic performance. I admire Swank for taking on this role. It isn’t a naturally comfortable role for her, and at times it shows in the film. She is not the romantic lead to a movie. She doesn’t carry herself that way and I don’t think we as an audience would ever buy her in that role, but never the less she does a good job in this movie. She doesn’t force it, and at times her acting chops which have won her a few Oscars are on full display. Most notably when her character breaks down and cries to her mother.
Richard LaGravenese does a wonderful job directing this wistful and charming Romantic dramedy, and it is one of the better such movies to be released in the last few years.