What is it with Amanda Seyfried and letters?
Correspondence-related plots appear to be a contractual requirement, what with Mamma Mia!, Dear John and now this lush, slow-paced and predictably syrupy Italy-set romcom.
Seyfried is Sophie, whose reply to a 50-year-old letter hidden in the Verona courtyard of Shakespeare’s fictional heroine starts a desperate search to reunite elderly widow Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) with her lost love.
Juliet aims for the unabashedly schmaltzy Mamma Mia! recipe of Seyfried match-making for an older woman in a picturesque European setting. But lacking the feelgood energy or suspension of disbelief of a musical, it elicits more guffaws than sighs.
Only Redgrave injects any grace or poignancy, while Seyfried’s trademark tear-brimming eyes may be down to her wooden love interest Christopher Egan’s faux-English accent.
The upside? It’s a significant improvement on director Gary Winick’s execrable Bride Wars.