PS I Love You Movie Review
Nobody can predict when death will give them a visit and cut off their lives shortly. According to the film PS I Love You, with some applied imagination and strategic planning, you may be cheated. The Grim Reaper just a little. Or in this case at least, from outside the grave.
Not that this morbidity sounds like ideal material for a fantasy romantic comedy. But the filmmaker Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, The Bridges of Madison County) takes the challenge of juggling this life, and the following laughs and negotiates uncomfortably a often less than credible common ground between the best of both worlds, like they may be.
Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler are Holly and Gerry in PS I love you, a tense young Manhattan couple in the wedding melting at the moment while they are verbal about Holly’s tendency to do too much shopping, not enough hot nasty sex ‘on their weekly to-do list, Gerry’s unsexy slacker attitude towards professional ambition, or forgetting to have children along the way, and maybe it’s very good all that’s out of life. In the middle of Holly’s night lights and twisting doubts about their relationship, the lucky Irish rocker-entry Gerry suddenly jumps into the bucket. What leaves Holly in a deep funk of guilty regret and ceaseless misery.
While worried, Mrs. Patricia (Kathy Bates) and best friends, Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon), had no success in discharging Holly’s full-time blues, the sudden secretive delivery of a series of letters from Mrs. Gerry, slowly works their magic to snap their glum bumps out of their depressed state. The letters function like a 12-step program that is presumably postponed, which nudges the slain widow to normal and even a few potential new novels. The tragicomic healing process culminates in no less than two trips to Ireland where the couple met the first time, where Ma and Holly started a strange adventure to pick up men.
PS I love you and his dead letter collection plot device is far too exaggerated, and feels dramatically energy-ineffective and confronted to begin with. Much more effective is LaGravenese’s sensitive physical and emotional layer of complex unraveling sorrow as a state of mind. And Swank just gets it right with a fine tuned expression of confusion, despair and anger, although Holly’s exaggerated, in love, self-pitying party is finally welcome to the characters and the audience.
And it never makes sense why Holly is not switched on by the continued progress of the fierce hunger that Harry Connick Jr. even though the man is on the eccentric side, like when he invaded his private space in the local bar’s journalist to put her with the heart he wears a little too prominent on his sleeve. In any case, PS I Love You can do with a much less sense of return than every postage letter arrives, and every time a romantic urge or mental mood swings reform.