04/18/2015  
The Strain: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray & DVD Jun 9A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 21Science Fiction Theatre: The Complete Series on DVD May 12Rogue: Complete Second Season on DVD May 19That Man from Rio (1964) & Up to His Ears (1965) on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 4Masterpiece Mystery: Grantchester on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 7Interstellar on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand Mar 31

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Rita Wilson diagnosed with breast cancer ...
Suzanne Somers on elimination from 'Dancing With The St...
The Strain: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray & DVD ...
20 of the Most Hated Women in Hollywood...
DWTS' Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis: Reunited and...
Barry Manilow Marries Manager Garry Kief ...
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk Were the Stars of Robe...
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 2...
James Best dies at 88; actor played sheriff in 'Dukes o...
Big Bang Theory: Christine Baranski, Laurie Metcalf Ret...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Love Letters (1999)

"We're lovers through letters. Some like whips, some like chains. This one likes letters."
- Melissa (Laura Linney)

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: June 23, 2004

Stars: Laura Linney, Steven Webber, Kirsten Storms, Tim Redwine
Other Stars: Gretchen Lascelles, Eve Conroy, Jackie Richards, Stephen Joffe, Isabella Fink, Marcia Diamond, June Whitman, Aaron Ashmore, Patrick Galligan, Chas Lawther
Director: Stanley Donen

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (strong language, adult situations, sexual references, thematic elements)
Run Time: 01h:29m:32s
Release Date: June 08, 2004
UPC: 043396049918
Genre: romance


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ BBB D

DVD Review

Apropos to the eve of Valentine's Day in 1989, playwright A.R. Gurney's classic play Love Letters debuted in New York. Starkly staged (two music stands were the sole props) yet emotionally riveting, this deceptively simple two-character story chronicled the lifelong bond of friends Andy Ladd and Melissa Gardner via the reading of their correspondences.

Going in, audience members most certainly thought, what a thin premise to keep us glued against our chairs for two hours. But thanks to the dynamite performances of Kathleen Turner and John Rubenstein, living up to the challenge of chronicling the lives of their characters from childhood to their golden years without visual crutches to rely upon, Letters became a Broadway wonder and a worldwide phenomenon. Over the years, Gurney's work has been interpreted by thousands of duos from local theater leagues to big city presentations, with star power combinations (and on occasion, real-life lovebirds) including Robert Wagner and Jill St. John, Dixie Carter andHal Holbrook, and Paul Newman and wife Joanne Woodward.

Ten years later, Love Letters took the form of a barely promoted made-for-television movie pairing Laura Linney and Steven Webber. Directed with energetic flair by the legendary Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain, Charade), this version opens with Andy seeking solace from the death of a close friend by reaching back to the past and recalling his first contact with Melissa. From the moment he laid eyes upon her in a second grade classroom, it was love at first sight, albeit one-sided. Having to work a little harder to penetrate Melissa's prim exterior, he composes the first of what will be countless notes that will soon expand into numerous categories including party invites, cross-country boarding school correspondence, holiday greetings, congratulatory kudos, sympathy cards, encouraging pick-me-up's and the like between the two. Taken collectively, the letters serve as an ongoing autobiography that chronicles an intense relationship that survives moments of indifference, widely differing career paths, romantic hits and misses, substance abuse, marriages, children, emotional breakdowns and divorce, all culminating in a fateful mid-life reunion that could possibly serve as a flashpoint for Andy and Melissa to finally take their literary bond to the next level.

Despite its mid-film plodding problems, a questionable plot deviation that spoils one of the play's most emotionally jolting moments and Webber's slightly detached performance, Love Letters is a mostly satisfying, involving tale of friendship and underlying love constantly threatening to simmer into something more. Adapting a stage production for film is a challenging assignment, but Donen handles the material with stylish grace, jazzing up Andy and Melissa's early years with great period detail and rapid-fire editing representing just how fast time flies with age (particularly during generic correspondences sent almost out of habit rather than feeling). But what really makes Letters worth opening is Laura Linney. Filmed in between her dual triumphs in The Truman Show and the Oscar nominated You Can Count on Me, Linney's enthusiasm for the material and her multi-layered character whose zeal for the finer things in life tempered by rollercoaster emotional states and longing for a man just out of her reach, truly takes your breath away.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Given its non-cable network origins from an age when 16x9 formatting for the small screen was still in development, grain and artifacts are noticeable from time to time (particularly during a scene set in Andy's dorm room). As a fair tradeoff, the beautiful cinematography and luminous colors helps make these minor detriments much less bothersome.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Although listed as Dolby Stereo, this talky film could have just as well been advertised as monophonic if not for Lee Holdrige's beautifully scored interludes. But aside from a wide mix during such moments and occasional pieces of up-front ambience, the center channel handles most of the work showcasing the well-recorded dialogue quite pleasingly.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Englisn with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Company, Whale Rider, Bon Voyage, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Passionada
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: An eclectic mix of art house-y trailers, nothing more; a missed opportunity for Columbia not calling in one of Hollywood's most beloved directors for a commentary track.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

A winning, energetic performance by Oscar nominee Laura Linney and terrific direction from Academy honoree Stanley Donen gives Love Letters a smooth transition from stage to the small screen.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

celebrity, rita wilson, tom hanks, fish in the dark, larry david, television, abc, dancing with the stars, suzanne somers, tony dovolani, suzanne sizzles, horror, movies, angelina jolie, gwyneth paltrow, leann rimes, katherine heigl, jennifer lopez, photos, sway: a dance trilogy, maksim chmerkovskiy, meryl davis, music, barry manilow, gary kief, married, copacabana, brad falchuck, robert downey jr., glee, chris martin, jennifer lawrence, james best, died, sheriff rosco p. coltrane, the twilight zone, andy griffith show, gunsmoke, dukes of hazzard, big bang theory, christine baranski, laurie metcalf, sci-fi, kim kardashian north west, keeping up with the kardashians, kanye west, drama, joni mitchell, morgellons, joni mitchell: in her own words, mary leitao, comedy, cynthia lennon, john lennon, cancer, julian lennon, paul mccartney, ringo starr, movie, furious 7, paul walker, james wan, universal pictures, mystery, rolling stones, 15-city tour, keith richards, mick jagger, ronnie wood, charlie watts, san diego, cable, comedy channel, daily show, jon stewart, trevor noag, musical, one direction, zayn malik quits, 2015 lollapalooza, florence and the machine, sam smith, metallica, charlotte mckinney, keo motsepe, redfoo, rumer willis, valchmerkovskiy, action, the walking dead, noah, aiden, deanna, father gabriel, rick, carol, crime

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store