This weekend I went to see P.S. I Love You starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler based on the book by Cecelia Ahern. I prepared myself all week for a tearjerker, and that is definitely what I got. However, I never expected to spend the entire length of the film crying. And when I say crying, I mean, having to bite my lip to keep myself from sobbing uncontrollably in a theater full of people I did not know. Not that I like to cry in theaters full of people I do know, but that is beside the point. This movie was overwhelmingly sad; and however enjoyable, put me in a somber mood for the rest of the day. Now, I’m normally one for a good melodrama, because honestly there is nothing better than hugging a pillow and a box of Puffs while watching Lana Turner or Bette Davis crumple into balls of insecurity and heartbreak to make you feel better about your own life and romantic situation. But today, P.S. I Love You just tore out my soul.
The film revolves around Holly Kennedy (Swank) as she receives letters from her husband (Butler) throughout the first year of his death. The letters encourage her to not only celebrate Gerry’s life, but to also move on with her own. She tries desperately to find meaning in his death and a place without Gerry, but constantly encounters setbacks keeping her from healing. The tragedy in this movie is not Gerry’s death and Holly’s abandonment; it’s that the filmmakers never give the audience a moment to breathe between the dramatic scenes. So many times throughout the film I found myself unable to focus because I was just expecting another hysterical sobbing fit to overtake me. Even in the most emotional films, the director breaks the tension with periods of levity, but the lightest scenes in P.S. I Love You felt contrived and sloppy. More attention needed to be paid to balancing the tragedy with the comedy. The best quality of the film was its realistic portrayal of grief, and how death affects everyone, even those on the outside.
Oh, and P.S. Gerard Butler should do more old man strip teases…just sayin’