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.