When we last saw Gerard Butler, he was kicking Persian ass in the special effects spectacular, “300.” He has transformed himself from a fearsome warrior to. . . an Irish singer in the stretching the fabric-of-reality love story, “P.S. I Love You.”
Hilary Swank is a very much in love Holly Kennedy married to her soulmate, Gerry (Butler). Wearing his Irish heritage on his sleeve he and his wife have a very passionate and volatile relationship. The two argue so passionately that one doesn’t know if they are on the verge of breaking up or making love.
But Gerry is harboring a secret that he won’t share with his wife – he’s dying. Soon he’s gone, but definitely not forgotten. Several weeks after his death, a letter shows up to his grieving widow with instructions to get out of her house and go celebrate her birthday. Soon letters, messages and correspondence begin showing up daily from the deceased Gerry as he helps Holly transition from their life together to one on her own.
While Gerry’s letter seem to raise Holly’s spirits and make her two best friends (Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon) happy, Holly’s mother (Kathy Bates) remains skeptical. Years earlier, her husband abandoned her and she doesn’t like the idea that her daughter may be living her reality out all over again. I mean even if the Gerry died, he still left her in Mom’s eyes.
Slowly but surely, Holly begins to come out of her shell and rediscover life without Gerry. She receives a trip from her late husband to visit his family in Ireland where she makes an amazing discovery – her future new love that happened to know her late husband.
Written and directed by Richard LaGravenese (“The Bridges of Madison County”), the film tries to replicate the winning formula of “Ghost.” Unfortunately, the story labors on too long when it’s obvious to everyone by the middle of the film how it will be resolved.
Two-time Oscar winner Swank gives an average performance as lost-love Holly. It almost appears that her performance is equal to the script that she has to work with. When presented with a strong script, she can deliver powerful work (“Million Dollar Baby” and “Boys Don’t Cry”). When she is asked to carry inferior films, Swank gives you “Freedom Writers” and “The Reaping.”
I have never seen a film with a dying man who is as considerate and thoughtful as Butler is in this film. His Gerry is a “mighty good man” stuck in average story.