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The Love Letter (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 21 May 1999 (USA)
2:28 | Trailer

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The power of words and images to open hearts. Helen runs, miles a day, to burn off energy: she's an emotional celibate. Going through the post at her shop, she finds a romantic and poetic ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Officer Dan
Postal Clerk
Margaret Ann Brady ...
Walter Covell ...
Post Office Customer
Patrick Donnelly ...
Bookstore Customer
Lucas Hall ...
Garbage Man


The power of words and images to open hearts. Helen runs, miles a day, to burn off energy: she's an emotional celibate. Going through the post at her shop, she finds a romantic and poetic letter between the couch cushions, unsigned, and thinks it's for her. It melts her resistance to feelings, and soon she undertakes an affair with Johnny, a collegiate employee. (He sees the letter and thinks she wrote it to him; he quotes some of it, so she thinks he wrote it to her.) In the background are Helen's long-time friend, George, who loves her, and her mother who abruptly left on a long trip months' before. Discovering who actually wrote the letter brings insight and promise. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one knows who sent it. No one knows who it's for. But everyone's getting the same message.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some sensuality, nudity and strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destinataire inconnu  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,692,819 (USA) (21 May 1999)


$8,276,228 (USA) (16 July 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the film Tom Selleck was intended to plug during his appearance on the Rosie O'Donnell Show. Instead the now famous aggressive debate over gun laws ensued. See more »


Johnny jumps in the ocean with his socks on but when he emerges seconds later his feet are bare See more »


Miss Constance Scattergoods: I do think, dear, that, whenever I get the urge to exercise, I lie down until it passes over.
See more »


Referenced in Flushed Away (2006) See more »


Presto, su! Mario! Mario!
From Tosca
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica
Performed by Slovak Philharmonic Chorus & Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy of Naxos of America
By arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

I am surprised this many people have actually seen this film
11 February 2000 | by (Storrs, CT) – See all my reviews

Aside from the fact that this movie was filmed mostly in Rockport MA, which is a beautiful town where my mother once rented a small storefront and I spent many a pleasant summer as a child, it is fun and cute little film.

I must admit that I had no desire to actually see this movie even though I have a weakspot for romantic comedies (I don't know why). The trailers I saw were not appealing, the cast did not look that interesting and I had no idea what the plot would be about. In the end I found it to be an interesting meditation on relationships and family. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and must admit that I thought that this film was one of the most overlooked gems of last year. I am disappointed that so few people seemed to have enjoyed the very "human-ness" that this movie presented the viewer with.

I have read many bad reviews of this film, and must admit a certain level of shock at the cynicism that is prevalent in them. As a grad student I consider myself to be quite cynical, but this was a beautiful little film that deserves much better than it got.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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