Journalist joins search for long-lost love

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 July, 2010, 12:00am

From director Gary Winick of Charlotte's Web and 13 Going on 30, and written by Academy Award nominee Jose Riveria, Letters to Juliet is a romantic comedy with allusions to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Featuring an international star-studded cast, the film breaks down the barriers of time and place in finding love.

Amanda Seyfried stars as Sophie Hall, an aspiring magazine writer. She flies to Italy with boyfriend Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal) for a romantic getaway. There, she discovers the famous Verona courtyard of Juliet Capulet, from Romeo and Juliet. Every day, women flock to the courtyard, where they leave letters addressed to Juliet with questions about love. Hall finds a letter that has been lost for 50 years, addressed to Juliet. The letter is from Claire Smith (Vanessa Redgrave), who is searching for an Italian man she fell in love with when she was a teenager.

Smith, accompanied by grandson Charlie Wyman (Chris Egan), returns to Tuscany and goes on a search for the man she once loved (Franco Nero). Hall is deeply touched and decides to join them. During the journey, Hall gets an opportunity to do a story that could be a breakthrough for her career as a journalist. She could even find true love along the way.

Letters to Juliet is based on real life: half a million tourists visit Verona every year, specifically to visit Juliet's house. There is a stone wall, where thousands of love notes are stuck. Love letters from all corners of the globe are addressed simply to 'Juliet, Verona'. Every one eventually finds the wall, thanks to volunteers.

The phenomenon has influenced everything from music to literature. The producers came up with the idea for the film after listening to Elvis Costello's Letters to Juliet.

Letters to Juliet opens on Thursday