The Love Letter (1999)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  21 May 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 3,492 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 47 critic

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 »


(as Peter Ho-Sun Chan)


(novel), (screenplay)
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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 <>

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


$15,000,000 (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 »


Lillian MacFarquhar: So, there you are darling, Mommy's a dyke.
See more »


Features Sherlock Jr. (1924) See more »


I'm in the Mood for Love
Written by Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh
Performed by Louis Armstrong
Courtesy of GRP Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

A Web Of Missed Opportunities And Mixed Feelings...Because Of A Letter
29 January 2009 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

'The Love Letter' is quite a gentle breezy sort of romantic comedy- drama. It's about opportunities that are missed because people aren't more forward about their feelings. The humour isn't wacky like in most American films. Assuming the director's seat, Chan does quite a good job of portraying the small dockside town and introducing its quirky characters. The story interestingly intertwines the lives of the characters through a love letter. The dialogues are pleasant and the acting is quite good. Kate Capshaw does a good job of carrying the film and maintains a good chemistry with her co-stars. Tom Everett Scott fits the part.It was odd to see Danner play Capshaw's mother because the age difference did not seem believable enough. Tom Selleck was alright. Ellen Degeneres and Geraldine McEwan are scene stealers. In addition, I was amazed by the whimsical soundtrack that flows beautifully with the film, pumping some energy into it and would work well as a standalone score. IU felt the film would have benefited more had their been more comedic situations. At times it gets too serious and that needed to be toned down a little. I liked how it ended without showing the two lovers kissing (as has been evident in x number of rom-coms) but instead suggesting a promising future for them together. 'The Love Letter' was a pleasant watch, a kind of slice of life film.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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