Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Holly (played by Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerard Butler) are a volatile 30-something married couple living in Manhattan. They’ve been together for 11 years already, but still haven’t quite figured out what they want from life. Holly worries about money and finding a job she can love. Gerry is far more laid back and is ready to have kids regardless of everything else being up in the air. Though the two fight passionately, they always make up with even more passion. It’s clear that they love each other.
Then Gerry dies of a brain tumor, turning Holly’s entire life upside down. At first, she is so devastated that she can’t even leave her apartment, but finally her mother Patricia (Kathy Bates) and best friends Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon) come over to celebrate Holly’s birthday. After getting cleaned up, Holly receives an unexpected delivery: a birthday cake and letter from Gerry. In the letter, he explains that he arranged to have a bunch of letters delivered after his death to help Holly get through the grieving process. His first wish is that she get dressed up and go out to celebrate her birthday in style with Denise and Sharon. A shocked Holly eventually complies.
Gerry’s series of letters takes Holly through the next year, forcing her to take action (call some long distance movers to haul Gerry’s stuff off to his mother’s instead of holding onto it forever), make decisions (find a career), and even travel to Ireland where the two first met. Along the way, Holly flashes back to different adventures she had with Gerry, thus allowing the audience to learn more about their relationship. Eventually, thanks to Gerry’s help from beyond, Holly makes a full “recovery” and emerges from her grief with a whole new outlook on life.
- I found Holly and Gerry to be compelling characters when they were together. They didn’t exactly have a ton of chemistry, but they still managed to be interesting. Maybe it was just that I couldn’t figure out why they hooked up in the first place. At any rate, I was invested in their love story and wanted to see how things ended.
- Gerard Butler was fantastic in this! He was charming and good-looking, and brought an involuntary smile to my face whenever he smiled on screen. I’ve seen him in other films, but have never been this…mesmerized by him before! He is reason enough to watch this movie, despite not being in nearly enough scenes.
- I was very thankful that Holly did not end up with Daniel (Harry Connick, Jr.). They were not a good couple at all, and I would have felt that Holly’s journey of self-discover was wasted if she had ended up with him.
- That Daniel character was the worst of the bunch. I have a feeling he was supposed to provide comic relief or something, but HCJ just did not pull it off at all. He came across as a buffoon, and I just wanted skip every scene he was in.
- It was weird to see Hilary Swank try to pull off being a 19-year-old college student in that flashback scene to where she and Gerry first met. All I kept thinking was that she looks 30 years old!! And apparently her idea of being a college student is to act giggly and vacuous. Whatever.
- Because of his annoying character on Grey’s Anatomy, I now have an irrational hatred of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Ugh. And is he really the type of guy that women fall in lust with at first sight??? I look at him and see an overweight average-looking guy. Meh.
- I thought the film ran a bit too long. It dragged in a couple of places and wasn’t as tight as it could have been.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by P.S. I Love You. This film exceed my expectations and held my interest almost the entire way through. Gerard Butler carries the action when he’s on screen, and the promise of seeing him again was able to sustain me through most of the Hilary scenes. I give this film 4 stars out of 5.