Is This Your Type?
The Love Letter
Review by Ross Anthony

"Do you know how in love with you I am? Did I trip? Did I stumble? Lose my balance, graze my knee...graze my heart?"

Un-addressed and un-signed, Helen (Kate Capshaw) picks the love letter from the countertop mess at her fishing town bookstore. Suspecting it sent by Johnny (Tom Everett Scott), Helen's previously rusted libido gets a slippery shot of hot oil.

But the love letter swims its way into the hands of other small town characters with hearts of sufficient longing to similarly overlook it's misdirection.

Splendid acting all around, the dialogue is also crisp. However, the overall path of the film proves somewhat anticlimatic. Rather one dimensional in it's intensity, the film could have used definition to it's dynamics. Admittedly, this may be due in part to a three minute segment I believe was lost at reel changes during my particular viewing. (Disclaimer: My grade reflects only what I saw, not what I presume missing.)

Regarding the remainder of the film two scenes are extremely memorable: 1) Before deciding Johnny is the author, Helen initially visualizes each random passer-by reciting the letter to her in her daily life (from the local police officer to a pick-up truck full of workman, tastefully filmed, this serial interlude is wonderful film play.) 2) Janet (Ellen Degeneres) upon hearing the news of a close-to-home homosexual love affair exclaims, "Lillian in love with another woman? I can't believe it!" Again, this one line reveals the good-humored nature of "The Love Letter."

That said, if you like "Murder She Wrote" you'll love "The Love Letter." It's cute and quaint, funny and occasionally enduring ... makes a great date flick too.

Starring Kate Capshaw, Blythe Danner, Ellen DeGeneres, Geraldine McEwan, Julianne Nicholson, Tom Everet Scott, Tom Selleck and Gloria Stuart
Directed by Peter Chan.
Screenplay by Maria Maggenti of Novel by Cathleen Schine.
Produced by Sarah Pillsbury, Midge Sanford and Kate Capshaw at Dreamworks/Sanford-Pillsbury.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:05:13 PDT