Although the theme of a dead husband, who reaches out to his wife from beyond grave to inspire his wife may not sound like a Christmas movie. P.S. I Love You is after all about giving.
The perfect movie for Christmas is the surprisingly progressive P.S. I Love You. Despite drawbacks and more clichés than an office Christmas party, this romance starring Hilary Swank works on every level—and it hits home for the holidays.
The movie will not immediately ring jingle bells with a theme about a dead husband (Gerard Butler) who reaches from beyond the grave to inspire his widow (Swank). Starting with a pat lovers’ spat, P.S. I Love You is ultimately rooted in reality, peeling back the layers of one couple’s lives.
The novel-based story begins just before his life expires, and, when opening credits roll, it’s a slide show of love story snapshots. The remainder of the journey—using the deceased’s letters, mysteriously delivered to his wife in scheduled intervals after he died—fills the gaps. The movie improves as it goes.
That it flirts with formula does not hinder its ability to evince tears and laughter. Melodramatic, realistic and romantic, P.S. I Love You appropriately saves the best for last. ‘Tis the season and those who welcome happy endings will not be disappointed, though this one is achieved through small, tentative steps, like life’s most difficult lessons, some of which are often deeply felt in the last days of a given year.
Living in what must be New York’s ugliest apartment building on a corner of Orchard Street, job-hopping Holly (Swank) and her Irish-born spouse Gerry (Butler) are both typical independent, urban Americans; they work hard, wonder whether to have kids, and they have a lot of growing up to do. Their social lives involve hanging out in bars and director Richard LaGravenese taps today’s adult city lifestyle.
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