I would like to say, first off, that I liked P.S. I Love You.
(Yes, gentlemen, I am about to discuss a chick flick. Unlike in real life, when I have you cornered at your desk in the office or across from me at a restaurant, you can escape this conversation. Using most internet browsers, click on the “back” arrow, or perhaps type a new address into the navigation bar, also at the top of your screen. Be honest with yourself. You know you would rather visit something like this than read my thoughts on yet another chick flick I will henceforth use as one more pop cultural reference point to my life and the lives of those around me.)
Where was I….
Right. I liked P.S. I Love You. But it was a lot different than I expected.
Look, I knew it wasn’t going to match the book, since they cast an American actress in the key role and put most of the story in New York rather than Ireland. So right off the bat, it makes a little less sense -- you can’t help but ask yourself why this grown woman can’t cope at all with her life. In the movie, you’re asked to believe the death of someone so close to you will literally drive you mad for a year. In the book, you’re given to understand Holly and Gerry had been together since childhood, so of course she has no idea how to live in an adult world by herself.
(I love Gina Gershon’s character in this movie, though, specifically when she says the middle classes -- tied, as they are, to regular paycheques -- don’t have the luxury to be insane.)
Also, some kind of key characters were killed off for the sake of the movie. Which leaves Holly without her loving, wacky brothers or her dad. At the same time, the decision to take the father figure out of the story puts a totally different spin and depth to Holly’s mother and even Holly. In some ways, the Holly of the book world is kind of a simple character, and her mother is something out of an Austen novel. Kathy Bates’ Patricia is no Austen mom.
Further side note, Movie Holly was a lot more…. wincy than Book Holly. Honestly, I didn’t really understand why Hot Gerry (can I please order up a Gerard Butler with a side of James McAvoy?) liked Movie Holly until about the middle of the film.
Things I loved…. The shoes Hilary Swank got to wear. A scene featuring just Gershon, James Marster and Lisa Kudrow, in which Marster’s character decides it’s time to comment on Kudrow’s character’s “appreciation” for men, and she slams him down. The fact that some key plot points went missing, but the most important ones did not go astray.
Anyway, ladies, you should check this one out if you’re in the mood for a bit of a cry fest.
And -- spoiler alert -- I offer the last two lines of Ahern’s book for those who might have felt a little let down or isolated by the movie’s end:
Whatever lay ahead, she knew she would open her heart and follow where it led her.
In the meantime, she would just live.