P.S. I Love You
by Laura Tucker
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Anybody that knows my writing style knows that I like to write things that will make you feel, think, and laugh. It stands to reason that’s the same way I liked to be entertained. P.S. I Love You was a film that honored every single one of those variables.
Of course it was going to make me feel… Holly’s (Hilary Swank) husband dies in first ten minutes of the film! This isn’t until after we see that Holly and Gerry (Gerard Butler) are the type of couple that have fights seemingly just so they can have makeup sex. They’re different in every way, as while she has to have a plan for everything, he likes to be more carefree as a musician and limo driver. They both want a family, but she wants their life to be perfect before they do, as she lives in fear of making mistakes. Ironically, it was her mother that told her the marriage was a mistake, because “I loved you too much.”
That whole beginning ten minutes I was laughing, but seeing previews, I knew what was to come. Gerry dies of a brain tumor, and is laid to rest with a typical Irish wake, with the participants downing a shot of Jameson in his honor as they say their goodbyes. Holly ignores any rules of typical mourning, creating a shrine in her bedroom, watching old Bette Davis movies, and belting out Judy Garland tunes.
Holly basically doesn’t leave the house during this time, until her mother (the always excellent Kathy Bates), sister (Nellie McKay), and friends (dry-witted Lisa Kudrow and a-little-chunkier-than-usual-but-still-gorgeous Gina Gershon) find her singing a Garland torch song among take out containers littering her whole apartment, seemingly unaware that it’s her 30th birthday. Many laughs come at Holly’s expense, as she is asked if she can go out and celebrate with them or if she has more shows to do. She’s also told she can’t act insane, as you have to be rich to do this.
A cake and recording of a familiar voice are delivered, as Gerry tells his wife he finally has a plan. Somehow he knew she would be holed up in the apartment, and he wants her to get out there and live, not sit pining away for him. He encourages her to to go out and celebrate for her birthday. After this, regular letters begin appearing in the mail from him, as he encourages her to sing karaoke and vacation with her friends. The problem is the letters only serve to keep Gerry alive and make it even more difficult for Holly to move on, as the Kleenex are encouraged to come out of my purse with every letter, as he ends them all, “P.S. I love you.”
Yet, every time I reach for that Kleenex, thinking of people that I have lost and not been able to forget, I end up laughing. If it’s not Holly’s mom or friends throwing in the dry humor, it’s the goofy Harry Connick, Jr., playing a bartender at the bar Holly’s mother owns. He talks of having a syndrome, which he wants to be something like Tourette’s Syndrome, but really boils down to “rudeness.” They begin a friendship, which after she barfs on him, they decide is based on “self pity, bitterness, and vomit.”
Somehow throughout all that, the two end up creating a very sweet relationship, and while he is very hung up on her, Holly just can’t let her dead husband go. For a romantic comedy, P.S. I Love You doesn’t end the way you would expect. It keeps its romance and comedy until the end, tears, laughter, and all, yet it still doesn’t go the way you think it will, unlike most movies in the genre.
Not only was I embarrassingly laughing out loud way too much in this film, but I also was crying so hard at times, that I was trying to figure out how to sniffle and not make it so obvious that I was crying. I had to rush to the bathroom when the movie got over, as I knew I had the crying red face thing going on. To me, that’s always the mark of a good film.
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