Robert S. (Spooky) from SACRAMENTO, CA Reviewed on 12/30/2009...
A movie you will want to watch twice !
0 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Frank E. (realartist) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC Reviewed on 8/15/2009...
Exquisitely scripted, and fleshed out by consummate actors.
I gather you are here because you like stories about romance. It was once said by another critic that often the kinds of romance novels we come across are written by women who either characterize the male love interest as either a wholly unattainable "mensch" ( idealized male ) or as despicable scalawags who ought to be flogged at the gangway for all those "awful things he did to that poor innocent woman". Clue, people...there's no such thing as an innocent woman. They can be as devious as any used car dealer stuck with a lot full of blue smoke coughing clunkers can be.
This story hardly presents "Louise Harrington" ( played by Laura Linney ) as a guilless , innocent 'victim'. No, Laura Linney, excruciatingly adorable in this role, plays 'the older woman' who suddenly finds herself in the throes of a SERIOUS case of lust after a young student making application at Columbia University, with she a kind of "gatekeeper", the holder of the keys to his successful entry into that prestige university. This is already a little 'borderline' in regard to ethical conduct, n'est ce pas? But no, this is not a 'who do you have to sleep with to get into this university' kind of story. It is a lot more sophisticated than that.
Indeed, this particular love story evolves on several different layers all at the same time. She does have an ex husband who also is a professor at the same university; and they also still have a certain love and respect for one another. It's true, this young man, played by Topher Grace, and played beautifully, has the same name, and same talents and same character qualities as Louise Harrinton's high school first love, who happened to have died in a car accident....hence the title "p.s."...or "deja vu, man !
" Topher Grace is such a charmer, so affable, so winsome, so darn cool...ANYBODY - that is to say any woman - would fall immediately head over heels in love. So one can hardly blame "Miss Harrington" for finding herself swept up into unbridled, bristling, hot lust and ecstacy thanks to this charming young man right out of the text book on 'How to Sweep Women off Their Feet' ( Take a lesson, fellows in how to pick up gorgeous, cute babes ! ) Yet, you know, this young man really is in love with this 'older woman'...truly in love! And she with him! And boy oh boy...nice lusty scenes too.
What makes it all so believable is the majestic literary skills of the author/screenplay writer. Every line sounds like real conversation! Every emotion a real emotion...every surprise a startling surprise-to each lover; each player on this 'stage'. You find yourself thinking, "My gosh...this must have really happened". It is all done so beautifully. Like a good novel...you cant stop reading ( listening and watching )...you HAVE to turn the page, you have to see the next scene.
I honestly have not seen script writing like this ever. Nor have I seen such superlative acting skills on the part of every single player in the movie. "Miss Harrington's" best friend is the only slightly shmaltzy, tacky character-but it only serves to contrast sharply with the other actors' immense believability as genuine characters = people like you and me,just being real people.
There I must leave you dear hearts, to discover for yourselves if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It is after all,... a kind of star crossed lover's tale, isn't it? But this I can promise you-that it will be the best romance story you've seen in a long time. If it didn't happen - you'll find yourself wishing that it had. At the very least, we would love to see 'the sequel' ! What a story.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Shannon R. (StephanieMorelli) Reviewed on 12/9/2007...
I love this movie. It is a story of a young artist applying to get into college. When he goes for the interview he bears a striking resemblance to the instructors ex-beau who had died a long time before. To complicate things further his name is very similar to her ex-beau. It is a drama with delicious love scenes. MMMM... Great date movie for men to rent for dates with their women.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of the best of 2004. It sparkles and beams.
Dane R. Youssef | Alameda, CA | 04/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"by Dane Youssef
"P.S." is one of those rare movies that tells a story which feels too good to be true--the kind that's escapist-fantasy and only seems to happen in movies and in our most desperate dreams.
But then again, sometimes we see and here that it does happen in real life. Once in a blue moon. It's every great success story. Like movie-star Lana Turner getting discovered when working in a pharmacy or Muhammad Ali's almost inhumanly-impossible success with his career in the ring, who talked like a professional wrestler.
"P.S." is a movie like that. It tells a story as sweet as a fairy tale, that maybe could happen in life. Where a woman feels like when she loses someone, she loses her chance in life. But then something else comes along that is so incredible, it feels like the divine hand. Is God giving her a do-over? And not being so subtle about it?
Laura Linney continues her streak of must-see movies and Oscar-caliber performances here as Louise, a middle-aged admissions director who's been through a real losing streak throughout her life.
She's recently divorced from her husband, a compulsive sex-addict who's diddled anyone who's set toe in his class. Her best friend seduced away her boyfriend in high school and is now married in an upper-middle class suburb to a man she threatens to cheat on if he doesn't fulfill his "husbandly duties." She's living the kind of life every woman wants to in her most cynical, vengeful, self-absorbed fantasies.
Laura's getting older, life's getting harder (and it hasn't been very charmed to begin with). She begins to see all her hopes and dreams fading fast. And things get even more interesting when see has a private one-on-one interview with a potential art student.
This guy is just her type. Not only, but... he bares an uncanny resemblance to her late college boyfriend, an art major with a passion that matched hers. This guy doesn't just look--he sounds, acts, behaves and his art is even similar. Louise is in shock.
What is this? Coincidence? Incidental? Has she been working herself too hard? Stress? Reincarnation? An escapist-fantasy movie-plot? Whatever it is, Louise is rubbing here eyes while warming up to this guy. Getting to know him... finds herself feeling something.... While trying to keep her feelings at bay. She's a skeptic. She's got one heck a heck of a track record.
One of the most refreshing things about the actress Laura Linney is that she's not just another manufactured beauty from off the assembly line. She's not just another actress. She's not "one of a million." She's just so real. She's not movie-star-ish.
She doesn't wear designer clothes wherever she goes, live in a six-story mansion of Muhulland Dr, smoke cigarettes from a long black holder and have a private trophy room for all her honors. When she acts, it doesn't feel like acting. You feel you know her. She's a real person.
The same hold true for Topher Grace, which explains his success as an actor. He seems so adult, so grown-up for his age. Grace is charismatic and seems smart, his gift and his power on-screen doesn't come from a natural Brando-like acting talent, but his face, his body, his voice, his personality. Somehow, everything he says sounds like he means it. He's so square, so on-the-level. All he has to do is speak to convince you that he's legit.
As an actor, Grace has a style all his own which may or may not be intentional. He has an Anti-Brando method. He never changes his appearance or voice at all in his roles, but he has an earnest, open-faced, true-to-life and genuinely human way in every movie he so much as touches. Which explains why Hollywood keeps throwing mountains of scripts his way and why every movie he's in, he's given a nomination for something.
This is some of the best acting either Linney or Grace has ever done so far, pure and simple.
Gabriel Bryne, one of the finest actors in the world brings his trade-mark debonair and charisma in the role of Peter Harrington, Louise's ex-husband who's nasty habit primarily caused their divorce. There scenes that poke fun and make light of his "f-----g" habit are almost worth the rental price.
Which is why he takes home award after award for nearly every movie he does, because something about his whole appearance and personality makes it come across like he's just himself being himself, not an actor.
While "P.S." may just come across as a woman's picture (and it may well be), this isn't just a moody, sensitive, overly-emotional "chick-flick" to be seen on a "woman's day." This is a movie about some people who are seriously dealing with the trials of life at a turning point of age.
Paul Rudd, who been the key performance in some damn good movies, has basically just a little cameo, but as the estranged brother, he gives us further magnified scope into Louise's little life. He's a reformed junkie with a condescending, sadistic streak towards his big sis.
The movie has a deep, human, true-to-life atmosphere all throughout. There's nary a moment that is written or executed in a way that feels contrived. Nothing in "P.S." needs willing suspension of disbelief. Everything feels so beautiful and natural as the falling of the rain.
I've read an endless number of reviews for this movie which charge Dylan Kidd with making a picture less impressive than his previous effort. Ah, the sophomore jinx. I didn't see his freshman effort, "Roger Dodger," so I'm not particularly biased. And anyway, shouldn't a film be judged solely on it's own merits? Even Steven Spielberg made "Always," "Hook" and "1941."
Listen folks, seriously, so many filmmakers are accused being cursed with the dreaded "sophomore jinx" because when it comes to art, there are people who rate novelty above all else.
Movies like "Birth and "Return To Me" have tackled this subject before, but here it feels so legitimate. Like "Rocky," this one makes us believe clichés can happen... and make us care.
by Dane Youssef"
Emotionless and boring
rickshayne | 05/29/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I had a lot of expectations about this movie after bumping into the dvd in a store and reading the plot. I guess I was expecting something like, well, P.S. I Love You with Hillary Swank but anyway, I didn't let those feelings ruin the screening of the movie. I was waiting and waiting and waiting....and waiting for SOMETHING in this movie to happen, but it never did. It is UNbelievably boring, and it seems like nothing ever happens in it. Someone described in the reviews here that the story is a feel-good one, about something too good to be true. Well you know what? Nobody in this movie made me feel like this was that kind of story. Laura Linney is a very good actress, and so Topher Grace, but they didn't conveny any emotion at all. There is not even a really subtle reaction to the discovery that this guy is her long-dead ex boyfriend. You'd think that would warrant a facial reaction that moves you, tears, something. Not even Marcia Gay Harden's character seems to show any of these reactions. I mean, what the heck happens in this movie? Laura Linney finds a guy who is a freaking copy of her dead high school boyfriend, not only looks-wise, but also his behaviour and everything else. She begins dating him (having sex mere hours after meeting him). You would think that would make you show some emotion if it happened to you, right? Well not in this movie. It's like we're in some parallel universe were emotions are so passé, kinda like Beneath The Planet Of The Apes where talking is so rudimental that people communicate telepathically. Not only didn't I feel engaged at all in this movie (except in the intro where Laura Linney is applying make-up: kinda says it all lol), I was so bored I almost fell asleep. I can understand this MAY not be the big movie where every sentiment has to be scored by John Williams, but come on! At least show some reaction. Bah, well, don't expect anything out of this movie, maybe you'll like it better than I have, I paid full price for this movie and I regret it. The characters in this movie go through life as if they were mannequins. It's like they are dead inside, like this movie."
Almost a little too smart for it's own good!
Duke Gaines | Washington, D.C. | 03/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"P.S. is a smart screenplay that is almost too smart for it's own good.What,superficially, is a May-December romance between a 39 year old Columbia Grad teacher (Laura Linney) and a young Columbia artist/applicant named Scott (Topher Grace), is really more about the fear of looking backward and trying to recapture the past,(Linney's Louise) and the fear and insecurity of growing up and moving forward (Grace's Scott).Each character goes through epiphanies about who they are, who they were, and who they are hoping to be.The dialogue is HEAVY-HANDED, almost too preachy and too wordy and wise for it's own good,that the characters seem as if they "get things" just a little quicker than the normal person would.I think I figured out the title "P.S"...pre Scott and post Scott.You see,Linney thinks that Scott may be her reincarnate High School sweetheart,who had the same name,who had been killed in a car accident.Obviously, she has never gotten over him and ended up in a broken marriage with Gabriel Byrne, who has a whole ball of problems of his own that we discover.The sound advice in the film,comes from Sammy,(Paul Rudd) who is Linney's "in recovery" drug addict brother. He advises her to "find the pattern" and that will be the success to her getting on in life.Again, even Rudd's character is just a little too wise beyond years for this film.Even actress Lois Smith, as Sammy and Louise's mother, is full of "sagacity" that just seems a little too pat. All in all, the performances are excellent and Marcia Gay Harden as Linney's best friend ,Missy, is superb; but with all of the actors,I did not find that there was any new revelation about any of their talents.They were good as they usually are, in a film that tries to be just a little too smart for it's own good."
Love story paralleling life's "what if's" w/sadness & a happ
TJ-STL | St Louis | 12/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very unusual movie with sequences believable and full of life's "what ifs". The story starts off fast with a passionate love making scene with "the woman I feel is the most beautiful woman in the world-Laura Linney)The movie explores so many types and experiences of love, live and sexuality with real life characters like a young man with hormonal driven passion and love, a "recovering brother" that turns out nice and an ex-husband and best friend that need real therapy. Well worth watching and the short sad sequences just add real life to the movie and are quickly patched with hope and love yet to blossom in the future."