Opening with a long argument between young married couple – Holly and Gerry Kennedy (played by Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler) it would appear that we are in stereotypical Rom-Com territory. However when we cut to the next scene and Gerry has died and Holly is mourning her husband in her families bar, we can see that P.S. I Love You is trying to mix up the usual conventions of the genre. In doing so the film manages to deliver enough surprises to make it worthwhile.
Suddenly on her birthday Holly begins to receive letters and gifts from Gerry – how does he manage to do this from beyond the grave? Holly never asks. Gerry’s aim is to get his wife’s life on track following his death, and he’ll stop at nothing to make her happy. P.S. I Love You is a romantic comedy based on the best-selling novel by Cecelia Ahern (daughter of Bertie Ahern – Ireland’s soon to be retired political leader). As an Irish man myself I am always sceptical of Irish set films. Filmmakers tend to go for the stereotypical “Irish blarney” first established in the Quiet Man. However, P.S. I Love You manages to sidestep such problems and deliver a view of Ireland not seen in modern US cinema, it’s far from realistic, but it is a step in the right cultural direction. The cast give it their all and Butler manages to pull off a convincing Irish accent, whilst Swank manages to play a convincing human being – who knew?
P.S.I Love You is an amiable enough romantic comedy that manages to add enough new elements to the genre. Butler and Swank are charismatic enough leads and there are enough interesting moments to make this worthwhile. Not the greatest film ever made (nor the greatest Rom-Com) but it is far from bad. You could do much worse.
There’s a pretty good batch of special features on this disc. The highlight being the deleted/extended scenes which appear mostly to be verging on out-takes due to their level of far-fetched comedy. That said, the scene where Gerard Butler visits a travel agency is a standout – but you can see why it was excised. There is also a brief chat with the writer, Cecelia Ahern, who is ecstatic on the treatment that her book has been given – even though they’ve now set the majority of the story in America. Also included is a James Blunt music video and a bizarre feature called “The Name of the Game is Snaps” – if you figure it out, let me know.