P.S. I Love You both offbeat and unexpected

CanWest News Service
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One goes into a movie like P.S. I Love You with a certain amount of dread, and who can blame one? First of all, there is that title, which pretty well says 1. Leave the man at home and 2. Bring hankies. It also hints at 2b. You can check your judgment at the door as well, if you need room for more hankies.

One goes into a movie like P.S. I Love You with a certain amount of dread, and who can blame one? First of all, there is that title, which pretty well says 1. Leave the man at home and 2. Bring hankies. It also hints at 2b. You can check your judgment at the door as well, if you need room for more hankies. Then there is the plot, culled from several viewings of the trailer: a man dies and leaves his widow a bunch of letters that will help guide her through her grief. There are indications that there will be redemption at the end, and possibly forgiveness as well. There seems to be an awful lot of music involved. And just to get all the bad stuff out of the way at once, the widow, named Holly (played with toothy sincerity by Hilary Swank) also sees visions of her dead husband (the roguish Gerard Butler, nicely recovered from defending Athens in 300). At times his spirit cuddles her in bed and at others, he sings his roguish Irish songs in their picturesquely worn-out apartment in New York City or in picturesquely boozy pubs in Ireland. And as one has gathered, the letters he sends her - admonitions to attend a karaoke night, or return to the spot in Ireland where they first met - all end with the same P.S., which is very sweet, I'm sure, but in the wrong hands could easily bring on a bad case of the tear-jerks. The happy news is that P.S. I Love You is only partly that movie. It's also an offbeat romantic drama in which the grieving widow finds most of her solace not in the various men who stand like pillars of Hollywood salvation along her difficult road, but in her love of shoes. This sounds about right, and it's bracing to see a film acknowledge it. The result is that P.S. I Love You qualifies as a pleasant surprise, a movie that is sad but doesn't get all morose about it. It may require some hankies among those members of the audience determined to cry, but they're not essential. Rating: Three stars out of five

Geographic location: Ireland, Athens, New York City Hollywood

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