The Times West Virginian

January 2, 2008

‘P.S.’ a stretch for romantic comedy

By Patrick Vincent

This holiday weekend was such a strange one for movies. What happened? Where was “Sweeney Todd” or “Atonement”? Alas, with no other options and against my better judgment, I went to see “P.S. I Love You.”

“P.S.” is the story of a typical couple; they may fight and they may argue, but you can tell they also truly love each other. When Gerry (Gerard Butler) dies from a brain tumor, Holly (Hillary Swank) is left a young and broken widow. Severely depressed, she cocoons herself in her apartment wearing Gerry’s clothes and singing show tunes. It seems her heart may never heal and a breakdown is in the process.

Then, Holly receives a letter. It is from Gerry.

No, this is not a horror movie ... even though it may sound like one. “P.S.” actually falls under romantic comedy. You see, before his death Gerry arranged for his wife to receive various letters at various times encouraging her to get on with her life.

Sweet or cruel?

The DL: Even in the fantasy realm lovingly known as romantic comedy, “P.S.” is a stretch. I realize some may swoon over the premise, but I found it ... ridiculous. I totally realize I am not exactly the target audience for which the film was intended. That being said, the film is cheesy. However, I did find some moments quite touching (Holly’s second karaoke go around for instance) and some that were pretty funny (Holly’s fishing adventure).

Let me put it this way: “P.S.” does all it can to make you cry. So, if you’re looking for a good cry, “P.S.” is right up your alley.

Gerard Butler turns in a completely opposite role than that of his in “300.” It’s a nice change, but reminded me of Hugh Jackman’s dabbling in post-“Wolverine” romantic roles. Here’s the clincher of “P.S.” — Hillary Swank, to me, is not cut out for romantic comedies. She’s like Jodie Foster in that way. Give her something dramatic and harrowing, not cute and cuddly.

To the Parents: Nah, I don’t think so. First of all it’s PG-13. Secondly, “P.S.” is two hours long ... and it feels like it.

Rating: If movies were letters, “P.S. I Love You” would be a ghost letter.