77 user 47 critic

The Love Letter (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 21 May 1999 (USA)
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)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »





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 »


Text of the letter: Dearest, Do you know how much in love with you I am? Did I trip? Did I stumble - lose my balance, graze my knee, graze my heart? I know I'm in love when I see you. I know when I long to see you, I'm on fire. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking a step. You are all wrong for me and I know it, but I can no longer care for my thoughts unless they are thoughts of you. When I am close to you, I feel your hair brush my ...
See more »


Referenced in Flushed Away (2006) See more »


feelin' Alright
Written by Dave Mason
Performed by Joe Cocker
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An appreciation of the (often funny) kinds of feelings we have for one another
30 October 1999 | by (Santa Clara, California) – See all my reviews

Wow! I'm surprised to see so many negative and lukewarm opinions on this movie, which I had never heard of (apparently it was not highly promoted by the studio) but which I luckily stumbled upon on an international flight. I so thoroughly enjoyed it that now I'm interested in more by director Peter Chan and screenwriter Maria Maggenti. I did not know there was a book, either, but I've made a note of it for future reading, too.

I admit I feel a bit defensive now, in the face of the other comments here on IMDB. So, what did I like and why did I like it? First of all, unlike some other viewers, I thought the movie WAS very funny. It takes sort of a Steve-Martinesque view of the tender absurdity of humans and their feelings about each other (OK, OK, I just saw a stage production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and the tone reminded me somewhat of this). Although there is physical humor, too, what I liked most were light touches, like how Ellen DeGeneres' character instantly, wordlessly went back to working for her boss (played by Kate Capshaw) as soon as she got the apology she felt she deserved -- after insisting with great finality that it was all over.

I also felt this film was a celebration of the beautiful but almost lunatic breadth and diversity of the kinds of feelings we group together under the heading of "love": everything from young (and older) wide-eyed lust, to slow steady enduring commitment. As well as friendships, coworker relationships like the one just mentioned, family bonds . . . the list goes on.

Most of all, I guess I appreciated the fond, loving tone of the movie. The artists seem really to like, and love, people. Yes, there ARE quite a few characters, and they're all different ages and different sexes, they're about different trials and tribulations, but they're all treated with light-hearted love and respect, for the sometimes silly but vulnerable beings we all are.

So, if YOU like people, I think you'd like this movie.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Age difference between Capshaw and Danner estancia44
lesbian Botelha
re-read the letters Galileo8
Does any one know where they filmed it edgil23
Someone please help me out! sharp2022
The word for a relationship maintained solely through written letters orangeorangeorange
Discuss The Love Letter (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: