The Nation's Health + teenager

Suicide by Poison is the Better Option

Letters To Juliet

Letters To Juliet

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? If he has any sense he will be running away from this movie as fast as he can. Letters To Juliet is the second letter-themed movie Amanda Seyfried has starred in this year after Dear John and it is a testament to its badness to say it is considerably worse than the latter.

It follows Sophie and her fiancée Victor (Gael García Bernal) who travel to the city of Verona, home of the star-crossed lover Juliet Capulet of Romeo and Juliet fame.Sick of being ignored by her fiancee as he runs around trying find suppliers for his restaurant, Sophie joins a group of volunteers who respond to letters written to Juliet seeking advice about love. After answering one letter dated 1951, she inspires its author Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) to travel to Italy in search of her long-lost love, with her uptight grandson Charlie along for the ride (played by former Home & Away star Chris Egan).

At first Sophie and Charlie clash over such lead character flaws as her use of phrases like `awesome' and `oh my god' and his, well, Britishness. Yet after a few days in the car together on the hunt for Claire's Romeo, they begin to fall for each other. But can Sophie follow her own advice on love as easily as she can dish it out? After 10 minutes of this ill-conceived dud you won't care about the answer.

Director Gary Winick comes from a long line of romantic comedies such as Bride Wars and Suddenly 30, but he seems to care more about the Italian sunshine filtering through Seyfried's hair than the quality of this film. The jokes are harder to spot than Egan's acting ability and it seems his terrible performance in last year's Crush was not a one off. This could have been a big move for him, the next forward step into a Hollywood career after notable turns in Resident Evil: Extinction and short lived series Kings. But he is simply terrible as Charlie. Even teen fans will be hard pressed to overlook his awkwardness, despite a shirtless scene.

The usual talents of Seyfried and Redgrave as leading ladies are dwindled down to a few meaningful looks here and there, but for the most part they are merely players in this woeful story. Throw in kissing couples played over the opening credits and lines like "I didn't know that true love had an expiration date'' and you will quickly find yourself reaching for a bucket.

Lovers of sickly sweet romances might have been able to overlook all of the above if there were at least two charismatic leads. However, there is absolutely no chemistry between Seyfried and Egan, and even the older lovers manage to generate more heat (which is disturbing on many levels). Letters To Juliet assumes that its audience will flock to see any version of Hollywood romance no matter how stupid and pathetic it is. Hopefully, this is not the case. Ahoy there to the Razzie committee, I think we have an awards frontrunner.

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