Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Love Letter (1998) [UR] ****

In this romantic fantasy, Scott Corrigan (Campbell Scott) and his fiancée Debra (Daphne Ashbrook) are preparing for their upcoming wedding. One weekend, while the two are browsing through antique shops, Scott finds an old 1860s period desk, and decides to buy it. After getting it home, while cleaning it he discovers a secret compartment, and inside it he finds writing stationery, as well as a letter written by a young woman named Elizabeth Whitcomb (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who owned the desk in the 1860s. In her letter, Elizabeth expresses her anxiety about her betrothal to a much older man whom she does not love, a sentiment that echoes Scott’s own anxieties about his upcoming wedding. Fascinated by Elizabeth’s letter, Scott decides to write a reply to her. On the suggestion of his aunt Beatrice (Estelle Parsons), he uses the stationery he found in the desk, and specially-formulated ink from the period. Then, he mails the letter with a stamp from the 1860s, at a post office that had been in continual use from that time to the present.

Incredibly, Scott’s letter is delivered to Elizabeth in the 1860s, and she is mystified when she reads it. Then she discovers that her letter is missing from the secret compartment, realizes that the two events are connected, and that the secret compartment is a portal to the future. She pens a reply to Scott, places it in the secret compartment, and, as the two begin to correspond across a century and a half of time, inevitably a romance blossoms between them.

Produced for the television anthology series The Hallmark Hall of Fame, The Love Letter is a hauntingly beautiful and thought-provoking romance about the limitless power of love to transcend time. Scott and Elizabeth find themselves linked by destiny, while separated by a century and a half of time. They fall in love while corresponding, and help each other make decisions about life partners and careers. Poignant, life-affirming and uplifting, this wonderful film is reminiscent of The Lake House and Somewhere in Time. If you enjoy romantic fantasies, don’t miss The Love Letter (1998). 

Labels: fantasy, romance, space-time

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