P.S. I Love You P.S. 我愛你
By Nelson H. Wu, The China Post
February 1, 2008, 12:00 am TWN
After Hilary Swank's start-ling transformations into a transgendered teen in "Boys Don't Cry" and a tough, female boxer in "Million Dollar Baby," along comes "P.S. I Love You," in which the actress undergoes her most unexpected transmogrification yet: into a giggling, girly girl, the kind who sings karaoke, gossips with her gal pals and strips down to her underthings on cue. The sight of Swank doing light and frivolous takes some getting used to, but the per- formance, like "P.S. I Love You" itself, grows on you.
The romantic weeper, which arrives on the heels of last year's thriller "The Reaping," also continues Swank's attempt to become a bankable leading lady of mainstream productions. But where "The Reaping" was a derivative compilation of scary movie cliches, "P.S. I Love You" manages to rise above its genre trappings. Credit goes to director and co-screenwriter Richard LaGravenese for not giving in to the chick flick's worst impulses to pander to the audience.
"P.S. I Love You" does, however, announce its intentions as an unabashed exercise in heartfelt sentiment from its opening pre-credits sequence. In an audacious, extended prologue, Swank, playing early thirtysomething Holly, and her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) come back from an evening out and start arguing about unresolved issues. The tour-de-force fight, of course, ends up in the bedroom. During some post-coital snuggling, Holly asks, "What if this is all there is? Our life is never going to start."
Soon enough, Gerry dies of cancer. The main thrust of the story sees Holly's awakening after his death, with the aid of a series of letters Gerry somehow found time to write on his death-bed, each of which gives Holly a task to complete, the idea being that Holly will move on after she's completed her Herculean mission. "Find that thing that makes you like nobody else," Gerry writes in one of his missives.
If you can accept the premise of a man dicta-ting his wife's life even after he's dead — which strikes me as a bit perverted, somewhat sexist and most definitely presumptuous on Gerry's part — then "P.S. I Love You" is a feel-good and rewarding journey.