All I knew about this film was that it was set in Verona, hence the Romeo and Juliet connection.
I’ve been to Verona once and of all the Italian cities I have visited, this is the one I long to go back to and only partly because of the whimsical idea that the fictional Juliet stood on that balcony. What I liked is Italian designer stores littered the street that spawns the alleyway to the balcony. And that I discovered the comeback store of the 1970s label, Fiorucci (As depicted in ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer by Chic. Obviously).
The film is set there as an engaged New York couple, Chef Victor and Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), New Yorker fact checker/wannabe writer visit for a pre-wedding honeymoon, this being the only time they have before the chef’s restaurant opening. So there are enough of my favourite things here to make me enjoy the film. (That’s food, Italy, writing, New York – in case you’re new here).
Victor spends all his time happily sourcing food suppliers for the upcoming eaterie which leaves our modern day Juliet free to go on a little adventure.
At the aforementioned balcony, Sophie finds hoards of international ladies writing letters to Juliet and affixing them to the wall. It turns out; these are all answered by the ‘Secretaries of Juliet’ a small group of ladies dedicated to keeping the romance alive. With time on her hands, Sophie joins in and replies to a letter she finds hidden behind a brick written fifty years ago.
The now widowed Grandmother, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) turns up in Verona inspired by her 50 year late reply; along with her extremely stereotypical obnoxious, arrogant, British grandson (although I think they may have something there). Claire is looking for the young lover she left behind as a teenager and the three of them set about looking for the long lost love, Lorenzos. At this point I wonder why the fact checker didn’t at least just telephone to see if a Lorenzo lived there rather than going on a road trip, although I understand that five decades later, Claire would have wanted to see him face to face.
So it turns out to be a quite a quaint, British story with the added twist of the grandson developing a little thing for our young heroine, who of course writes about the whole escapade.
Entirely for the girls but worth a watch. It’s got to be better than that Sex and the City 2.
7½/10 Smile factor 8/10