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Friday, December 28, 2007

P.S. I Love You

My best gal pal this side of the Atlantic is single and always ready not to be. I’ll call her Tina so that when she reads this she won’t be embarrassed about my gossiping about her in public. Tina is a great friend but she adheres to the old rule that “If it has tires or testicles it’s going to give you trouble” so I think she scares most guys off before they’d ever get to the point of asking her out. They probably think she’s a Lesbian because she is always hanging out with her gal pals, and when she does speak to the men where she works, she comes off sounding like a cranky truck driver with jock itch. Nevertheless, she is 100% straight and ready to roll. The problem is the only place she ever rolls is with me to see movies at the Essex Cinemas.

This week we went to see
P.S. I Love You, which has to have been written by a Lesbian, I swear to you. Why? Because no man, straight or gay, could possibly have captured the deepest wants of women so well and no heterosexual woman would give up our secrets so easily. That’s right, everything that will make a heterosexual woman swoon and capture her heart for life is in this little gem of a movie, and if men actually went to see P.S. I Love You, they would finally know all they needed to know to make their girlfriend or wife happy forever.

First, of course, they’d have to die.

Okay, so not really, but that’s what happens to Gerry Kennedy (Gerard Butler; 300) right after his first super hot scene with wife Holly (Hilary Swank; The Reaping). It’s the kind of fight only married
people have and is so down and dirty that you know it is only getting that way because it’s going to lead to the best make-up sex ever, which it does in this case too. Then the next shot we see is months later and it’s at Gerry’s wake. It takes a few minutes before anyone explains that all this time had gone by and that Gerry had succumbed to a brain tumor. I thought maybe it was only a day or two after the last scene and Holly had sexed him to death after their make-up whoopee. Hey! It could happen. One night my first husband (excuse me while I cough up the phlegm ball that formed in my throat just by mentioning his countenance) actually called me at 2:30 am after three years of blessed silence to tell me that he had been having sex with someone and in the midst of the encounter, his partner had both come and gone simultaneously. “What should I do?” he asked anxiously. I, of course, offered the most practical advice I could. ”Pull out,” I said, and then I hung up, never to hear from him again ~ well, not for quite a while anyway. I know it’s a bit of a digression, but this scene with Holly having Gerry’s wake at her mother’s bar, seems jarring at first. At least it offers the necessary exposition to get all the characters introduced as the service is attended by Mom’s dopey assistant, Daniel (Harry Connick, Jr.; Bug), who appears to be mildly brain damaged even though that turns out to just be Connick’s acting style, and there are also Holly’s BFFs Denise (Lisa Kudrow; dare I remind you of a show called “Friends”), Sharon (Gina Gershon; tv’s “Rescue Me”), and John (James Marsters; best known as Spike from tv’s “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”). Why these one-time “would-be stars” are playing tiny do-nothing roles here is beyond me, but they class up an otherwise ho hum funeral for the perfect husband, now deceased. Later, at least, we’ll learn that Kudrow and Gershon do get something out of doing the movie. Marsters, it seems, must have done it for the food he could snatch in this, his single scene. How sad for him. Alas, I briefly hoped his residuals and fabulous cheekbones were keeping him happy.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be much of a revelatory experience if Gerry stayed completely dead though, and soon Holly begins getting romantic letters from her late husband, written in his final weeks and arranged for in advance of his death to be delivered at various times to help his widow on her path out of despondent grief. Can there be anything dreamier? Gerry, who was an Irish singer, and built like a brick castle, is a regular McDreamy McGhosty in my book. Fortunately for us, when the letters arrive, we are also treated to flashbacks of Gerry and Holly’s life together, in bits and pieces, which peel back the genuine love that bonded them together, and keep that scrumptious dimpled Butler on-screen.

Gerry eventually arranges (or shall I say previously arranged) for Holly and her friends Sharon and Denise (tough luck, John) to go on a trip to Ireland, back to where Holly and Gerry first met. (See, I
told you Kudrow and Gershon would luck out). Well, faith and begorra! Much happens in the Emerald Isle, including an almost Gerry-inspired supernatural element that results in Holly’s getting to know another Irish singer, William (Jeffrey Dean Morgan; the long lamented “Denny Duquette” of tv’s “Grey’s Anatomy"), who could melt hearts and sheets with just a smile (though the biceps and brogue don’t hurt either). By coincidence (or is it?), William turns out to be Gerry’s best mate growing up and was in the same band with Gerry the night he and Holly met a decade earlier.

You may think the simplistic end to this story is the obvious wrap up with Holly going off into the sunset with her new Irishman, but Gerry only paid for a two week trip, so Holly does have to return home and deal with her real life. Her mother (Kathy Bates; Fred Claus) wants her to get past her dependence on Gerry’s letters for comfort and advice and oddball Daniel wants Holly to realize he is the right man for her. Lucky girl.

Where the story goes from here I’ll leave for you to see on your own, and you won’t be disappointed. The sheer romance of the gesture by Gerry, and then his unseen shepherding of his lost wife towards her independence is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The lush music by composer John Powell (Happy Feet) adds a serene background to the picture, and the verdant backdrop of rural Ireland in the Autumn is breath-taking on its own as well as a perfect backdrop to this romantic story.

As for those bits that men might learn to make their ladies happy? None are difficult and few require more effort than their time and listening skills. Those are what Gerry used to know just what his wife would need to get on without him, and he gave her the greatest gift of all ~ his love from beyond forever, which he proved by knowing her better than she knew herself.

When the movie was over I wanted to sit for a minute or two and just reflect on my own perfect husband, who could write me a grocery list and I’d be thrilled. Tina, on the other hand, was p.o’ed because the movie reminded her that the only time a guy wrote her a note it was a cop and he was giving her a ticket for public indecency. She wasn’t naked or anything. He just didn’t like her looks. I told her to cheer up and think about going to Ireland for some hot Irish s-e-x. Since she only had $68.14 in her bank account, it looked like she might have to settle for something a little closer to home so we stopped at Hannaford’s on the way home and I bought her a bar of Irish Spring and a box of Lucky Charms to hold her over. Maybe, in the meantime, if Gerard Butler isn’t too busy, he could drop her a line and give her a few words of encouragement. If not, I’m going to have to buy her a copy of Leprechaun and call Dr. Phil. Either that, or we’ll go see P.S. I Love You again. That’s worth more than a case of Lucky Charms, and that’s saying a whole lot. After all, they’re magically delicious, so that makes P.S. I Love You and Gerard Butler so damned tasty you’ll practically choke on him.

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