Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), begins receiving love letters and lovelorn advice from the late Gerry Kennedy (Gerald Butler), her hubby who died of a brain tumor. He wants her comatose duff off the sofa and back in the saddle.
Reluctantly, she acquiesces, and tips off on an intercontinental tug-of-love between American Harry Connick Jr. and Irish Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Support comes from Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon (playing friends) and Kathy Bates (playing her mom).
According to Swank (the person), she is not the macho chick (the actress) she customarily portrays in film, (Girls Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby). She sees herself as a girly-girl. Yet, even though Swank overdresses in silky underwear, she still does not comfortably fill out this romantic role.
That is not to denigrate her talent, of which she has plenty, but here she struggles to crossover from a dramatic missy he-man to a comic prissy she-woman. She executes the bitchy, wishy-washy, weepy, whiny wife well enough, but too well to make her believably lovable.
However, if you prefer a hanky box to boxer's gloves, this will be your movie. Many a tear has been happily shed over this sentimental fable about life after death.
Take note: Butler struts those 300 abs in a suspenders and shorts belly dance. Bates, as always, does not disappoint. Lisa Kudrow flaunts her Friends comic ditz. And the eternally undercast James Marsters can do no wrong.
Just when you are relieved that Director Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, The Bridges Of Madison County) forgoes his take on the infirm Gerry in the final cut, a moribund Butler in Kabuki greasepaint appears in the Additional Scenes. He's amusing as a dying man, but miraculously the movie is spared this spectacle.
Mercifully missing from the Extras is the convergent director's narrative. The movie works best with only one good cry.
An interview with the Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern presents a startling epiphany: Ahearn should have been cast as Holly in her own novel-to-film. She's naturally cuddly and cutely charismatic. Hilary isn't. And fetching blonds like Ahern can get away with all that nagging and moping.
The complete James Blunt "Same Mistake" music video is featured, as is one of the weirdest segments to appear on a DVD, "'The Name of the Game Is Snaps': Learn How to Play." Weird enough to watch.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Cast: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Harry Connick Jr., Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, James Marsters,
Length: 127 minutes
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish