- Year: 2010
- Director: Gary Winick
- Writers: Jose Pivera and Tim Sullivan
- Length: 1 hr. 45 min.
- Genre: Romantic comedy-drama
- Rating: PG for brief rude behavior and sensual images, some language and incidental smoking
- Stars: Amanda Seyfried (Sophie), Vanessa Redgrave (Claire), Christopher Egan (Charlie), Gael Garcia Bernal (Victor), Franco Nero (Lorenzo)
- Awards: Nominated for 6 awards
- Filmed in Verona and Siena, Italy and NYC, USA
Cher’s Armchair Travel: Italy
I love Italy! As I’ve noted before. . . it has always been one of my favorite places to visit, both in person and from my armchair!
More than any of the other Italy-based movies I’ve watched and discussed in my blogs, “Letters to Juliet” is tops on my list for TRAVEL and CULTURE. The viewer is able to fully experience the landscape, culture, people, food and wine of Italy. There is not much “art” such as paintings and sculpture–unless one considers Italy as a whole as being a work of ART!
After watching this movie again . . . I’m ready to book my next flight!
The movie is a bit slow-paced, but I believe that gives the viewer much more time to enjoy the fabulous scenery provided as the characters travel along the picturesque, rolling countrysides of northern Italy.
How can one not want to join them?
Along the route, one can view rows and rows of Italian Vineyards.
Strewn across Italy are fabulous villas which we enjoy in many of the film’s scenes.
The Italian scenes in the film are all shot in Italy (not some Hollywood set)–so what we see is the “real thing!”
Scenes for enthusiasts of wine-tasting opportunities abound for those who want to check out the great Italian wines.
Even if one is not a wine connoisseur, I recommend taking advantage of this cultural experience when one visits Italy.
Quaint, side-walk cafes
One of the things I really enjoy about traveling in Europe is outdoor dining, whether it be dinner or just a snack and drink.
Street scenes and quaint, side-walk cafes in Verona and Siena entice the viewer with enjoyment of the Italian culture and cuisine.
Verona is the first Italian city we visit; it is where our characters are based during the first half of the story.
The movie provides several wonderful picturesque street scenes in this lovely city along a river in northern Italy. It is in Verona that the connections to “Letters to Juliet” are introduced.
Siena, the second Italian city we get to visit, is introduced in the second part of the film as it is the headquarters for our main characters as they journey in search of a lost love. The historic city square of this medieval walled city is a highlight of any trip to Italy.
Wandering the quaint side streets of Verona, one will eventually encounter a cozy courtyard where visitors can see the balcony made famous by the lines of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers: “Romeo! Romeo! wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
Letters to Juliet
Within this courtyard is also a brick wall where the heartbroken can leave notes tucked into the bricks, pouring out their hearts and requesting advice from Juliet.
The Juliet Club
These “letters to Juliet” are actually–and in real life–read and answered by a group of women known as the “secretaries” for Juliet. Housed in a small building on the outskirts of the city, the Juliet Club is staffed by a small army of about 15 main volunteers; although one can be a “secretary” for just a short period of time.
“Letters to Juliet,” a romantic comedy-drama, is the ultimate “chick flick” not only for lovers of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet,” but for anyone interested in a good love story with a happy ending . . .
“Letters to Juliet” is appropriately filled with love and heart-warming relationships.
Sophie and Victor
Our main character, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) , an aspiring writer from New York City, has traveled to Italy with her fiance, Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). Despite the intent of the trip to spend time together as a couple, he is busy visiting vineyards and kitchens for his soon-to-open New York City restaurant. Meanwhile, Sophie decides to explore Verona.
50-year old Love Letter
In her explorations, Sophie discovers and gets involved with the Juliet Club. Helping them collect the letters, she discovers, tucked deep in the wall, a weathered, 50-year old letter from a British lady named Claire. She replies to Claire and embarks upon an adventure that will change her life forever.
Claire is played by award-winning, veteran actress, Vanessa Redgrave.
I have always enjoyed her acting and this one does not disappoint! Redgrave, as Claire, is classy, articulate, compassionate, full of wisdom and is perfectly cast in this role!
Journey of the Heart
Ultimately, Sophie sets off on a romantic journey of the heart with Claire, now a grandmother, and her reluctant grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan). They have traveled from England to Italy in response to Sophie’s letter from the Juliet’s Club–and in search of Claire’s long-ago lover, Lorenzo (Franco Nero). With their permission, Sophie pursues her passion to write, and journals about their adventure.
Italian Culture & Family
In their journey to find Claire’s Lorenzo, we get to travel along as they experience the many things there are to love about Italy: the landscape, the buildings, the food and especially the generous, warm and welcoming Italian people and their wonderful culture.
We witness, with them, the many examples of a culture that deeply values the importance of family–and celebrates with great and plentiful food and wine.
In the end. . . Sophie, Claire and Charlie will discover that sometimes the greatest love story ever told is your own.
Claire & Lorenzo
True love waits. . . 50 years later . . . Claire reunites with her Lorenzo . . .
Sophie & Charlie
True love comes when you least expect it. . . . Despite a contentious start, Sophie and Charlie ultimately find each other . . . in a scene appropriately set with a Juliet style balcony . . .
The story ends Happily Ever After
. . . except for poor Victor (who loses Sophie, but continues his true love affair with his food and wine and his new New York restaurant).