Letters to Juliet

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Letters to Juliet Movie Poster Image
Super swoony romantic fluff that's fun for tweens.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 105 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 49 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

There's a sweet, but not altogether reasonable message that first love never dies, no matter how many years have passed. A smart young fact-checker summons her courage to become the journalist she's always wanted to be (though it takes a guy's urging to make this happen).

Positive role models & representations

Sophie trusts in her abilities as a journalist, writes and submits her story, even though there was a risk it wouldn't get published.

Violence
Sex

 A couple of kisses, some flirting and a few tame references to romance and married couples who "make passionate love."

Language

British curses like "blasted," "bollocks," "bleeding," and the like; mild insults such as "idiot," "ass," "jerk," and one "s--t." Plus a couple "oh my God"s as exclamations.

Consumerism

Sophie works at The New Yorker magazine, which is referenced many times throughout the movie. A rental Audi convertible's logo is shown in close-up.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Adults drink wine or champagne at dinners, in vineyards and, at a wedding reception.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this romantic drama is an inoffensive, light and fluffy romance for tweens and teens. There is very little to object to -- just a couple of kisses, witty, flirtatious banter, and some tame references to romance, love, and love-making. Language wise, there's one "s--t" but that's about it, except for British words like "blasted" and "bollocks," as well some grown-ups enjoying a glass of wine or champagne in social situations. The messages center around distinguishing true everlasting love, which the movie claims will never die. The protagonist, a young journalist, is encouraged to take a risk with her career, but it takes a guy (and an elderly lady's long-lost love) to convince her to believe in herself.

User Reviews

Parent Written byjhartsock81 January 28, 2011
Typical Romance comedy with a little twist. Probably ok for most your teens. Also good date night movie. Good chunk of fill takes place in italy so there is dr...
Parent Written byMrBoo July 18, 2010
Kid, 11 years old January 24, 2011

Letters to juliet review

I think that this movie should be watched with parents if kids are under the age of 11 but over all a very good movie the kissing is not so bad but you mite wan...
Kid, 11 years old March 12, 2012

Adorable!

Really cute love story! I highly recommend. My only "thumbs down" is that in one part, a man sticks his middle finger up. Why do they ruin the movies?...

What's the story?

Sophie Hall (Amanda Seyfried) is a hard-working fact-checker at The New Yorker, but she'd rather be one of its writers. She heads off to Verona, Italy for a pre-wedding honeymoon with her fiance Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), a busy chef who'd rather schmooze around with his about-to-open restaurant's wine, cheese, and olive oil suppliers than sight-see with his future wife. Having agreed to do their own thing, Sophie wanders into the touristy house of Shakespeare's Juliet, where she sees lovesick women of all ages writing letters and sticking them into a stone wall. She discovers that a quartet of Italian women dubbed "Secretaries of Juliet" answer every letter placed on the wall, and while helping them gather letters, she discovers a very old one written by a British woman named Claire (Vanessa Redgrave). Sophie writes a heartfelt response and a few days later, Claire and her skeptical grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) arrive in Verona to embark on a journey to find her long-lost love Lorenzo. Tagging along, Sophie develops a love-hate chemistry with Charlie, while they continue to search for Claire's Lorenzo.

Is it any good?

With lesser actors, this fairy-tale romance would be borderline unwatchable. It's ridiculously cheesy and predictable -- from the moment Charlie (played by the compelling English actor who starred in the short-lived, high-concept drama Kings) enters the Secretaries of Juliet office, it's obvious he and Sophie will do what every cinematic couple who meets-cute does -- fall head over heels for each other. The movie manages to make Garcia Bernal, usually one of the most charismatic and appealing actors, look like he's more of a best friend than a fiance, and it's difficult to buy. There's nothing particularly magnetic about Charlie and Sophie's attraction, and in fact, the most spark in the story is between Claire and Lorenzo, which is understandable, considering the actor, Franco Nero, who's Redgrave's real-life husband.

Seyfried's considerable charm, coupled with Redgrave, and the Romeo & Juliet theme save this otherwise underwhelming romantic comedy from the waste bin. The irresistible Italian locations are more alluring than the storyline, and when the Italian soundtrack kicks in, the movie starts to seem like an extended travel show. There really is a group of 15 women who reply to the lovelorn letters to Juliet, and it wouldn't be surprising if there's an upsurge in letters and heartsick visitors to Verona. This is definitely not the love story of the ages, but it's sugary sweet, and just the kind of predictable fluff young girls will appreciate.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's overall message about about first love? Do you think teenagers often feel like their love stories will last the test of time? What's the reality?

  • What is the difference between Sophie's relationship with Victor and her relationship with Charlie? How is one shown as preferential to the other?

  • Sophie says her perfectionism keeps her from finishing her stories. What's different about the "Letters to Juliet" story? What helps Sophie muster up the courage to submit her work? Do you think this movie portrays Sophie as powerful on her own, or dependant on others? Is this typical of romantic movies?

Movie details

For kids who love romance

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