A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, as I don’t usually go for tearjerkers at all. It was on tv on a sunday afternoon so I figured eh, why not.
I was even more shocked by the fact that I actually cried on a few occasions. The movie is a romance with hints of humour and corny bits, but it addresses heavy subjects as well: what do you do when the love of your life is gone or how do you deal with the regrets? It also makes you think about the other side of the coin: if you knew you were going to die, what would you do? Would you make preparations? Would those focus on yourself alone or would you do something for the ones you love?
When Gerry found out he had a brain tumour and was going to die, he arranged for a series of letters to be delivered to his soon to be widow. Those letters would arrive at critical times in her life and were meant to help her move on. Not everyone in Holly’s life thought this was a good idea, as instead of moving on she seemed to be stuck in the past, but they respected his wishes.
As the movie unfolds, we find out more about Gerry and his relationship with Holly. So as we follow her and watch her grieve for him, we also get to know how he felt about her. There were some very endearing scenes and the one I found the most emotional was when Holly finally broke down and openly questioned the point of finding a new reason to live when the love of her life was gone. She had everything she wanted and it was taken from her.
It’s even more painful when you remember the beginning of the movie, the petty argument, her constant ranting about how their life never seemed to kickstart, that they were stuck, and Gerry telling her that it had already started and they were living it and it made me think… How many of us go through life like that? Wondering when our big break will come? How many times have I kept holding on, taking each day for granted, hoping for something better?
So yes, I was surprised that such a movie would make me question these things. Despite the sappy/corner scenes and dialogues, which weren’t that many to be frank, the fact is it was very well made and both Butler and Swank were very, very good. The chemistry was obvious; the relationship was very believable and I could connect to both of them as individuals.
Despite the light, funny, hopeful moments, I have to admit I finished the movie feeling quite sad. However, I also felt richer and that made it all worth while.
Watch it if you’re needing a good cry.