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SYNOPSIS: In the quiet New England town of Loblolly By The Sea nothing very dramatic happens until an unsigned love letter mysteriously appears. First to read the passionate and sensual epistle is bookshop owner and single mother Helen (Kate Capshaw). More concerned with raising her young daughter than finding romance again, Helen's curiosity as to the identity of the writer sparks an affair with the much younger Johnny (Tom Everett Scott) while local fire chief, George (Tom Selleck), whom she's known since high school days, also begins amorous overtures. Helen's co-worker and best friend, Janet (Ellen DeGeneres) is her polar opposite; a spirited date-aholic. As the letter gradually makes its way around the close-knit community each reader assumes the role of intended recipient; initiating a series of romantic mishaps which dramatically alters the way of life in Loblolly.

"In a town that couldn't possibly exist comes a story that couldn't possibly happen - ideal ingredients for a romantic comedy. The Love Letter is an amiable small town tale about an unsigned love letter that passes through various hands and changes everyone's life along the way. It's the kind of film Bette Davis might have made in the late 1930's and even has the feel of being a remake of something from "the good old days"

The setting is Loblolly By The Sea, a picture postcard New England hamlet where bookshop proprietress/single mother Kate Capshaw is the first to read the passionate epistle. The search for the unknown author brings her long-time friend Tom Selleck and young lover Tom Everett Scott into the picture before the list of candidates expands to include smart-mouthed co-worker Ellen DeGeneres and bicycle-riding spinster Miss Scattergoods (Geraldine McEwan).

It's pleasant enough viewing and a refreshing change to see a 40-something woman holding centre stage of a romance, aided by great veterans like Gloria Stuart and the wonderful Geraldine McEwan who doesn't appear in nearly enough films. Everything ambles along nicely for about an hour but doesn't really know what to do after everyone in town has read the letter that includes over-quoted lines like "how much I think of you when I peel an orange" or "when I tie my shoe".

Too many thinly drawn characters and not enough incident in the final act make it stumble home rather than fly but for inoffensive, old fashioned entertainment "like they used to make" this DVD fits the bill. There's nothing fancy included in the packaging; a few deleted scenes make a diverting accompaniment but it's not really the type of film that begs for, or needs, additional volumes."
Richard Kuipers

Published: October 25, 2001

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


CAST: Kate Capshaw, Tom Selleck, Blythe Danner, Ellen DeGeneres, Geraldine McEwan, Tom Everett Scott, Julianne Nicholson, Gloria Stuart
DIRECTOR: Peter Ho-sun Chan
RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures Video
DVD RELEASE: February 7, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted Scenes, Trailer, Production Booklet, Subtitles in English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish. Languages: English, German.

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