Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1999. DreamWorks, Sanford/Pillsbury Productions. Screenplay by Maria Maggenti, based on the novel by Cathleen Schine. Cinematography by Tami Reiker. Produced by Kate Capshaw, Sarah Pillsbury, Midge Sanford. Music by Luis Bacalov. Production Design by Andrew Jackness. Costume Design by Tracy Tynan. Film Editing by Jacqueline Cambas.
Delightful comedy about Kate Capshaw living in the tiny (fictitious) New England town of Loblolly-By-The-Sea, who can no longer ignore the good things in life she gave up as a younger woman. One of those things, Tom Selleck, is still waiting for her to pay some attention to him, but our heroine is distracted by a brief, intense love affair with a much younger man (Tom Everett Scott) and the goings-on at her picturesque book store: the center of the story is a mysterious but beautifully written non-addressed love letter that is found under a couch. Every time it falls into a different pair of hands, the reader automatically assumes the letter is for them, and all sorts of complications ensue. A deft touch by the director is to use the composer of Il Postino to compose the lush and summery music that accompanies the film, reminiscent of the readings of Pablo Neruda’s poetry against the backdrop of that wonderful Italian film. Ellen DeGeneres gives her best silver screen performance as Capshaw’s best friend and manager of her store; for the first time her off-the-wall humour fits right into the film and doesn’t make her seem like she’s working from a different script. The cinematography is gorgeous, the ensemble performers are all cast to perfection, and at the heart of it Capshaw gives a beautiful performance worth remembering.