Tag Archives: Hallmark

Hallmark’s The Love Letter

I like a Hallmark film once in a while, provided it has some actors I love and it’s not too vanilla or syrupy. The Love Letter is a reasonably sweet, endearing little time travel romance fantasy thing that benefits greatly from its two leads Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who both hail from arenas far off from usual territory like this but for whatever reason they signed on. Remember that film The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock? Where they send letters to each other decades apart through a magic mailbox? Well I’m pretty sure whoever made that one saw this and almost totally ripped it off because they’re uncannily similar. Instead of a mailbox it’s a mahogany writing desk, owned by Leigh’s Elizabeth Whitcomb, a civil war era girl about to be forced into marriage by her father to some dude she hates. Scott is a present day dude who is engaged to another girl (Daphne Ashbrook) until he purchases the desk at an antique store and discovers that he can communicate with Leigh across the gulf of time simply by posting letters through the inside panel, and the two begin exchanging love letters in what can only be described as the ultimate long distance relationship. Now the issue with any film like this is, how would these two ever end up together for real? The film already plays around with the laws of physics and reality but it would have to completely rewrite them to unite these two as they are literally alive in different centuries. The script’s solution? Well you’ll see, I didn’t altogether buy it but it’s an admirable effort. Scott is simple, grounded and earnest as ever, Leigh is her usual sweet yet somehow edgy self, always a captivating actress to watch. The only chemistry they really have is vocal as they read these letter and briefly in some sort of.. well, you’ll see. I’m a Leigh completist so I’ve been keeping an eye out for years and finally scored a DVD at a used book shop near me. Sweet, low key, whimsical and filmed in picturesque Virginia during the fall, worth a look for its leads, Leigh especially, and a cheeky last minute ending that will either have you rolling your eyes or feeling warm and fuzzy. Bit of both for me.

-Nate Hill