While “P.S. I Love You” may be billed as a romantic comedy, it is more a drama than anything approaching a comedy. The premise of the story is this: Hilary Swank is married to Gerard Butler that dies from some form of cancer and leaves his widow a series of letters to help her carry on after he has passed away. The concept is somewhat inspired, but the film lacks some key elements. I found the film to be heartwarming in design, but that has more to do with a well-written story than any acting or directing talent.
To begin with, let’s look at the lead actors. Gerard Butler is being flaunted about as the hot new import these days, something akin to Hugh Jackman when his film career started taking off. Jackman burst onto the scene with his role in “X-Men” as the ferocious Wolverine. Butler has burst onto the scene with his breakout hit of “300”. While Butler has been in numerous other (and highly varied) films both before and after “300”, he will always be remembered for snarling the line “This is SPARTA!” He was the malformed “Phantom of the Opera” based on Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s famed musical. He was in “Timeline” based upon a book by sci-fi guru Michael Crichton. He was the supposed love-interest of Laura Croft in “Laura Croft Tomb Raider: the Cradle of Life”. Heck, he’s even played Dracula in Wes Craven’s “Dracula 2000” (actually a pretty decent version of the famous tale). He’s an enjoyable actor, but I think Butler is better suited to the action genre. I can buy his Irish wit and charm in this film (even though he’s Scottish), that’s easy. What I can’t buy is him falling for Hilary Swank.
Hilary Swank 1st came to my attention in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. I thought she was annoying in that film, but hey – who wasn’t? Worse still, she may be an Oscar winner for “Million Dollar Baby” but if anything that film only stressed what is so obvious to many of us: Hilary just ain’t that pretty. How on Earth any casting director ever thought that SHE would be a success as a romantic lead is simply beyond my understanding! She’s got an over-bite to make a horse proud and she’s so thin as to appear nearly anorexic! All the acting talent in the world isn’t going to overcome those hurdles, especially when the role requires a level of attractiveness. It is one of the most atrocious casting decisions in recent years and there simply is no other way around it.
The film takes a while to get rolling along. We all saw the trailer, we all know that Butler ends up dead – let’s get on with the rest of the movie, please. By the time we are interested in the letters and the sort of mission Butler’s character leaves behind for his widow, the film is nearly half over. The supporting cast includes an impressive list: Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, James Marsters, and Harry Connick Jr. Even this cast doesn’t really elevate this film above mediocrity.
It’s not a horrible movie, but it isn’t a “WOW” kind of a film either. Everybody’s problems are all nicely tied up in the end, so if you are looking for a feel-good ending then this is the film for you. Overall though, the romance angle I just don’t buy. How Butler could end up with Swank is unfathomable. Bottom line: don’t bother with this film if you agree with me on the estimation of Swank’s attractiveness.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE
- Leap Year (reelvoice2013.wordpress.com)