The Love Letter (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1999.  DreamWorks, Sanford/Pillsbury Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Delightful comedy about 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, , 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 () 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. 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.

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