The Love Letter Film Details
Overview: The life of a provincial town becomes stormy after the appearance of an anonymous love letter.
Tagline: No one knows who sent it. No one knows who it’s for. But everyone’s getting the same message.
Review: The Love Letter (1999): Starring Kate Capshaw, Tom Everett Scott, Tom Selleck, Ellen De Generes, Gloria Stuart, Blythe Danner, Jessica Capshaw, Alice Drummond, Bill Buell, Erik Jensen, Margaret Ann Brady, Walter Covell, Patrick Donnelly, Lucas Hall, Christian Harmony, Christopher Nee, Breanne Smith, Marilyn Rockafellow, Sasha Spielberg, Jack Black…..Director Peter Chan, Screenplay Maria Maggenti. Based on the novel “The Love Letter” by Cathleen Schine, Director Peter Chan’s film version, released in 1999, was not a big box-office draw, not even for a romantic movie with some comedy elements. While it was not as popular in theaters, it soon became a beloved film on cable television and on VHS/DVD. Set in a seaport town in the good old USA (I forget the exact location), this is the story of a mysterious, passionately written love letter who sparks emotions and confusion among the principal characters, each who think the letter is personally addressed to them. By the end of the film, we don’t know who the lover or the beloved is but the power of the letter has altered the lives of nearly everyone in the small town. The cast is made up of wonderful actors who have fared well on TV and film, among them Kate Capshaw in the lead role of middle-aged beauty Helen, a bookstore owner, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres as her friend/employee Janet Hall, young hottie Tom Everett Scott as Johnny, the young 20 something guy who falls for the older Hellen and an older Tom Selleck as the firefighter George Matthias who must compete with Johnny for Helen’s affections. There are cameo roles by veteran old Hollywood actress Gloria Stuart, who is best known to modern audiences as the elderly Rose in “Titanic” (1997) and a cameo by Kate Capshaw’s own daughter (with husband Steven Spielberg) Jessica Capshaw. The love triangle is between a middle-aged woman, an older man and a young man, each of whom feel as passionately for Helen as the writer of the mysterious letter. The conflict lies in Helen’s indecision. Will she choose the right person ? Which man has the most to offer her ? Johnny is in a relationship with a girl his age who loves him with a passion all her own, and is in fact, a kind of reminder of what Helen was like at her age. George is in the process of divorcing his wife and has lived a worldly and eventful life. A cultured intellectual, he takes Helen on an opera date, where the tragic death of Puccini’s ultra-Italian heroine Tosca moves Helen to explosive tears. There are lots of beautiful vistas of the charming coastal town, rendered beautifully by cinematographer Tami Reiker. The score is a paradise of romantic and lovely songs – ” I’ve Never Been In Love Before”, “I’m In The Mood For Love” and “Only The Lonely”. Ellen DeGeneres as Janet Hall, who is consistently late to her job at Helen’s bookshop, who endlessly dates men without being able to find the right guy , is simply wonderful. She has not lost her comedic flair, even though at this point in her career she was not appearing much on TV or film because only about two years before her hit mid-90’s TV show “Ellen” was cancelled because of her “coming out” as a lesbian and the new lesbian subject matter of the show. Here you even find comedian Jack Black, long before he made it big, in the bit part of a fisherman. This is a moving film about human emotions and making decisions that are significant, about the human need for a passionate consuming love and the general love of escapism brought not only through books, letters, and music, but through a genuinely loving and secure relationship. This is a great film with wonderful moments and an infectious romantic spirit.
Duration: 88 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Also known as: Lettera d’amore,ラブレター／誰かが私に恋してる？,The Love Letter,Любовно писмо,Destinataire inconnu,Carta de Amor,Carta de amor,La carta de amor,Der Liebesbrief,List miłosny,Ερωτικό Γράμμα,A szerelmes levél,Любовное послание,A Carta Anônima,Rakkauskirje