P.S. I Love You – DVD Review

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Available at Amazon.com

Hilary Swank has accomplished more before 40 than any actress alive. Two Oscars and no major tabloid scandals has been her cornerstone to a career that really is starting to hit its stride. Swank has the sort of artistic credibility that few actors have, the sort of rarefied air that few can legitimately claim to occupy. So her choice of films is always a bit quirky and off the beaten path; any actress who can put a Karate Kid film in the same lineup as Boys Don’t Cry and The Reaping and bring credibility to all three roles (and many more) is an actress for the ages. And only Swank could make a film like P.S. I Love You and make it enjoyable.

Swank stars as Holly, a widow whose spouse (Gerard Butler) has developed something clever. Before his death from brain cancer, he’s devised a series of letters to be delivered to her after his death to help her get over it. As the months go by, Holly has to learn to let go while her departed husband tries to help her along by presenting with things to do and people to meet culminating in a trip to Ireland (where they first met).

The film is about grief and moving on with your life, and the point is made about getting over the past in order to truly live in the present, and without Swank it’d be a Lifetime movie of the week.

This is truly her film, as she dominates the film with a charming performance that hits all the right notes. This isn’t a brilliant performance, nor is it one of her best performances, but it’s enough to elevate mediocre material to watchable. Holly is a depressed woman who lost the love of her life and we feel her pain; Swank’s a good enough actress to take even a poorly drawn character and give it some life. In this case she takes a decent premise and brings some life to it.

Set up as a potential Oscar vehicle at the end 2007 for Swank, its proof that sometimes the Academy doesn’t reward some actresses blindly for mediocre roles in mediocre movies.

Presented in a Dolby Digital format with a widescreen presentation, the film has a solid a/v presentation. The film isn’t reliant on its visuals or audio, but what it does contain it does well.

A Conversation with Author Cecelia Ahern is a piece wherein Ahern discusses her motivations behind the book and why she wrote it. Ahern, who is Irish and set the book in Ireland, didn’t have a problem with them basing it in America with an American cast. Nothing of real note is said, though.

A Music Video, “Same Mistake” by James Blunt, is included.

Additional Scenes are included and are cut for a reason. There’s a great scene included with Gerard Butler booking the flight to Ireland that’s markedly funny.

The Name of the Game is Snaps focuses on the “snaps” game played throughout the film (Lisa Kudrow doing the whole snapping bit). Set in a cheesy ‘50s game show, complete with requisite crowd noise, it runs about five minutes.

Fans of Hilary Swank and of the “chick flick” will be rewarded for watching this film, as it provides a strong part for a strong actress with a solid storyline. Everyone else should be urged to watch it with caution, as even Hilary Swank in minimal clothing can’t save this film.

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Warner Bros. presents P.S. I Love You. Directed by Richard LaGravenese. Starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon. Written by Cecilia Ahern, Richard LaGravenese, Steven Rogers. Running time: 126 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: May 6, 2008 Available at Amazon.com