"P.S. I Love You" DVD Review
June 09, 2008 by James Harvey
I have to admit that this movie surprised me. I was expecting to be bored senseless with this movie. It's a "chick flick" starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. Now, I would have never expected these two actors to headline a "chick flick," but, here it is. And, surprisingly, it's a good movie. Yes, the movie does have some problems, but nothing that is really out of the ordinary. I was surprised at how enjoyable the movie was and how positive it turned out to be, despite the somewhat morbid premise. I can definitely see why this movie was a hit for Warner Bros. earlier this year, and I'll go into detail why after we get the synopsis out of the way.
Buy a new outfit. Be a disco diva. Learn to fish. Take a chance. Travel. Laugh. Love. Sometimes all you need to start really living is a little shove in the right direction Ė and thatís just what Holly Kennedy gets. From the handsome, big-hearted love of her life. From a series of mysterious letters. And from gal pals who know that a friend in need is a friend in need of some laughs! Based on Cecelia Ahernís joyful bestseller and boasting a top cast led by two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler (300), P.S. I Love You is your very own message full of fun, love, triumph and romance. Open it now. (P.S. Youíll love it!).
As you can tell by the synopsis above, this movie has all of the ingredients for a classic chick flick. There's a lot here to digest and, surprisingly, they manage to cram a lot into the movie's roughly two-hour run time. Of course, that doesn't always work to the movie's advantage, but, in the end, it allows for more to happen and gives the audience to look over some of the problems of the movies. Now, I could be obvious and point out the sheer impossibility of the whole letter thing, but there's no point in that. Like with most of these movies, if you can just accept the possibility that this can happen, then you're good to go.
Now, this is a cute movie, it is. Sure, it's not the most uplifting one, although that does seem to change toward the end, and Hilary Swank's lead character can be really, really unlikeable from time to time, but overall, it's a pretty cute movie. The premise is what you see above in the synopsis, and it's a pretty interesting premise. As Swank grieves for the loss of her husband, he tries to help her move on through a system of letters. An interesting premise which actually turns out quite nicely. It's a rather straightforward plot, but one that does manage to keep the viewer in tune with what they are watching.
If I needed to point out any problems, save for improbably the whole letter thing is, it would have to be that we don't see enough of the relationship between Butler and Swank. The movie does open with a great scene, in my opinion, where the couple basically runs the entire gamut of emotions, but I think we needed to see more. Once that scene is over, we basically jump right to his wake and then we go from there. We do get flashbacks, and some of them are actually really fun and actually touching, but I don't think we get enough. But, for this movie, that's fine. Their relationship isn't the focus. The focus is her moving on after the death of her husband. I will say the movie ends on a great note and actually throws a couple curves at the audience. I won't go into detail, but the last letter has a great little twist in it, something that rocks the usual "chick flick" conventions.
In fact, it's probably the ending, and the message, I like the most about this movie. I like the message it gives and I can understand why it made women fall just head-over-heels for this movie. It's a rock-solid ending that is sure to make more than a couple girls swoon and get a little misty-eyed.
P.S. I Love You is definitely Recommended. Sure, it's sappy at times, predictable, and over-the-top, but it's a solid "chick flick" at the end of the day. Swank and Butler are aided by a great supporting cast, including Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow, and Harry Connick Jr., some beautiful scenery, and the story is pretty enjoyable, even if you have to ignore some of the more improbable aspects of it. Personally, I would have preferred to see more of Swank and Butler as a couple, but I understand that the movie is more about Swank and her journey, so it's fine, and, besides, the flashbacks do help fill in the blanks a little bit. It's definitely a movie that's worth checking out, at least for a rental, but I know many will be adding this to their home video collection, and for good cause.
Flipper discs? Really? Now, I can understand having one for one of those atrocious Double Feature discs, but do we really need one in order to have both the widescreen and full screen versions of the film on one disc? Why not just make two separate releases? Or, better yet, do away with full screen altogether? But yes, we get a flipper disc for a 2008 theatrical release film. So, to all who opt to pick up this movie, be very careful when using this DVD, handling it, etc.
Save for the flipper disc, the rest of the disc's presentation seems fine. The disc is housed in a standard Amaray case, with no insert or cardboard slipcase. On the disc itself, we have a fairly basic menu set-up, static with music over the main menu. The audio and video for this release is excellent for the release, though, at the same time, nothing special. Now, it's a romantic comedy, so don't expect an aggressive audio mix, but the mix here sounds fine, with everyone coming out loud and clear. The video is just as solid and pleasing to the eye, with everything from lush country sides to city landscapes popping on screen.
The extras on this release are surprisingly thin, especially for a movie that was a modest success fro Warner Bros. First up is the a ďA Conversation with Cecelia AhernĒ featurette, which is the standard studio EPK content. After that we have a handful of deleted scenes which, well, should have stayed in the movie, but, alas, they were trimmed for time. After that is a tutorial, in the vein of those 1960's training videos, on how to play the "Snaps" game featured in the movie. Toss in some previews and trailers and there you go. A small collection of extras, nothing more.
Overall, I would have to give P.S. I Love You a Recommended stamp. It's definitely something to check out, especially for the female audience. It's a no-brainer rental and, from there, it can be decided upon on whether or not this deserves shelf space in one's collection. It's a fun "chick flick" and a good way to spend a couple hours, no doubt. If anything, whether you liked it or hated it, it'll definitely give you something to talk about once the feature is over.
P.S. I Love You is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.