While holidaying in Verona with her career-obsessed fiance, young American Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) goes solo to explore the enchanting setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Upon visiting Casa de Giuiletta, the supposed home of the literary heroine, she discovers thousands of letters sent by lovelorn women from around the world.
Sophie decides to join the volunteers, or 'secretaries of Juliet', who reply to the letters and finds a 50-yearold note written by an English lady named Claire (Vanessa Redgrave). Telling of her heart-wrenching regret over a lost Italian love, the letter moves Sophie to organise a trip to help Claire track down her Lorenzo. The pair are accompanied, however, by Claire's sceptical grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan), who predicts that finding one Lorenzo Bartolini in the whole of Italy will be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Red Riding Hood star Seyfried plays another wideeyed, winsome heroine in this picturesque Italian adventure. With veteran thesp Redgrave and The Motorcycle Diaries star Bernal, the line-up oozes class. The film also keeps a casting trick up its sleeve for when we finally meet the real Lorenzo - he's played by Redgrave's real-life husband Franco Nero.
Unabashedly saccharine, Letters to Juliet is content to play to an audience looking for an inoffensive, heartwarming watch. Though Aussie Egan's portrayal of a stuffy Brit is perhaps a little stereotypical, as is the broad representation of Italy, Gary Winick's film is the perfect antidote to many a brash, smart-alecky romcom, for those who prefer the gentler side of life.