A trip to Italy is not yet in my future, yet taking in the sunny Tuscan scenes of “Letters to Juliet” (2010) definitely added to my summer wanderlust. Whenever I finally do travel to Italy, I’ll be sure to explore Verona, where Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns of people writing to Shakespeare’s famous and tragic character.

 

Besides the travel aspect, I also love that Sophie is a writer. Her instinct for a potential story kicks in when noticing a collection of letters. She soon finds a unique, romantic topic inspired by people writing to Juliet about love. Travel. Writing. Two activities that would make up my own dream job. From the start, this movie was right up my alley.

 

One letter by a woman named Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) is of particular interest to Sophie, as it reveals of a love story from decades before. Her response as Juliet quickly brings Claire’s grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan) into the picture. This made me think that, in real life, what are the odds? However, I love that because it adds to Sophie’s first moment of amazement in Charlie finding her letter.

 

Of course, Charlie isn’t too thrilled and even seems to find Sophie not very bright, although not in those words. His retorts imply that impression of her. It is clear that she thinks him rude, as well as close-minded in regards to finding his grandmother’s lost love. Is it romantic and worth the pursuit? Is it completely ludicrous?

 

The odds of Sophie’s letter having been found so quickly seem to be a sign that searching for Claire’s lost love will work out. As the search begins, they find out something that backs up Charlie’s feelings on the matter. Adding to the romance is how Sophie decides to narrow down where they’ll go to find the elusive man from Claire’s past. It gives the sense that the couple are meant to reunite, something for which I feel any viewer would hope. In Shakespearean tradition, some of the men they question bring comedic moments into the adventure.

 

Sophie and Charlie’s relationship changes while still facing obstacles as the adventure continues. Not tragic themselves as Romeo and Juliet are, they each have dealt with sad situations in their families. So, in this movie, elements of Shakespeare’s work come alive. Comedy and Tragedy. Also, as there is Paris in “Romeo and Juliet,” Sophie has her fiance, Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). He’s supportive of Sophie’s work and seems like a great guy, yet is increasingly busy with his career.

 

The conclusion brings about a Tuscan setting that I’d love to visit in any travels throughout Italy. It also includes a moment paralleling a famous one between Romeo and Juliet. If only I knew whether a real structure or a movie set used in that scene, because it was a perfect touch to the story!

 

Overall, I thought it was a clever storyline of Shakespearean theme and I’ll have to add this to my DVD collection. Until then, I’m glad to have finally caught it at the beginning just a couple of nights ago. I knew I’d love it! Several other movies I’ve enjoyed that have locations in Italy include:

 

  • “Roman Holiday” (1953)
  • “Casanova” (2005)
  • “Eat Pray Love” (2010)
  • “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003)