5.4/10
3,725
78 user 46 critic

The Love Letter (1999)

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

Director:

Peter Ho-Sun Chan

Writers:

Cathleen Schine (novel), Maria Maggenti (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Capshaw ... Helen
Blythe Danner ... Lillian MacFarquhar
Ellen DeGeneres ... Janet Hall
Julianne Nicholson ... Jennifer
Tom Everett Scott ... Johnny
Tom Selleck ... George Matthias
Gloria Stuart ... Eleanor
Bill Buell ... Officer Dan
Alice Drummond ... Postal Clerk
Erik Jensen ... Ray
Margaret Ann Brady Margaret Ann Brady ... Selma
Jessica Capshaw ... Kelly
Walter Covell Walter Covell ... Post Office Customer
Patrick Donnelly Patrick Donnelly ... Bookstore Customer
Lucas Hall Lucas Hall ... Garbage Man
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destinataire inconnu See more »

Filming Locations:

Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,692,819, 23 May 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,276,228, 18 July 1999
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Janet Hall: [surrounded by a group of women in the cafe hanging on her every word] ... so that is my feelings on salt and pepper and sugar. Condiments: let's move onto that. Ketchup: obviously the most popular condiment. I don't think anybody's going to disagree with me on that one. First of all, always wipe the bottles down. Sticky: there's nothing grosser than that. I mean, i'm sure there's something grosser... but it's pretty gross to have it sticky when you're trying to have a...
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Connections

Features Sherlock Jr. (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
I am surprised this many people have actually seen this film
11 February 2000 | by A-Ron-2See 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.


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