“PS I Love You,” review by Susan Granger

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While Hilary Swank has won two Oscars – for “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby” – she’s unable to exude femininity. Graceless in “The Affair of the Necklace,” she’s almost as awkward, cavorting in her underwear, in this disappointing melodrama.

Although Holly’s (Hilary Swank) marriage to Gerry Kennedy (Gerard Butler), an impetuous Irishman, is fraught with problems, she’s stricken with grief when he dies of a brain tumor. Her mother (Kathy Bates), two best friends (Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon) and a blundering bartender (Harry Connick Jr.), try – in vain – to comfort her.

Then on her 30th birthday, a celebratory cake, tape recording and letters start arriving from her dead husband who has taken great pains instructing her how to rebuild her life. He’s even arranged for a bittersweet trip to his native Ireland so she can meet his parents, along with a hunky boyhood chum (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (“The Fisher King,” “Freedom Writers”) collaborated with Steven Rogers to adapt Cecelia Ahern’s novel and he also directs. Therein lays the problem. All too often, when a screenwriter directs his own project, he loses focus and that’s what happens here. As a couple, the Kennedys seem destined for divorce anyway, so why should we care about them or those gimmicky letters, all of which predictably conclude with “P.S. I love you”?

It wants to be “Ghost,” but she’s no Demi Moore and he’s no Patrick Swayze. The only cast members eliciting empathy are Lisa Kudrow (“Friends”), adorable as a blatant husband-hunter, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Grey’s Anatomy”), whose smile could melt any woman’s heart. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “P.S. I Love You” is a sappy, floundering 4. Drop it in the dead letter office.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.