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Love Letter

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Love Letter

Starring: Kate Capshaw, Ellen DeGeneres
Director: Peter Chan
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 88 Minutes
Release Date: May 1999
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Tom Selleck, Tom Everett Scott, Gloria Stuart

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

If you've seen the previews of coming attractions, you've seem the best parts of Kate Capshaw's (Mrs. Steven Spielberg) lackluster foray into producing. Set in a picturesque New England coastal town, Lobolly By The Sea, this romantic fantasy revolves around a mysterious love letter that is discovered by a number of people. Kate Capshaw finds it first. She's the emotionally celibate proprietor of the local bookstore and thinks it was written to her by Tom Everett Scott, a hunky college student working there for the summer. When her assistant, Ellen DeGeneres, discovers the anonymous note, she thinks it was meant for her, sent from a gentle, goofy fireman, Tom Selleck. (Which is odd, since Selleck obviously has a long-time crush on Capshaw.) Then, while the local eccentric (Geraldine McEwan) named Miss Scattergoods, bicycles around making caustic comments, Capshaw's estranged mother (Blythe Danner) and semi-senile grandmother (Gloria Stuart) arrive for a visit. Wretchedly underwritten by Maria Maggenti and sentimentally directed by Hong Kong's Peter Ho-sun Chan, this choppy, heavy-handed, slowly paced, picture-postcard film disappoints. Ellen DeGeneres is the only one with sense of humor but her self-deprecating wisecracks are derived from her highly publicized off-screen life, rather than the story. And there's no way Blythe Danner could be Kate Capshaw's mother, given the obvious ten-year difference in their ages. Indeed, Kate Capshaw could be Gwyneth Paltrow's mother. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Love Letter" is a fumbling 4. Kevin Costner's "Message in a Bottle" was a different spin on a similar story, released earlier this year.

Copyright 1999 Susan Granger

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