"Letters to Juliet" opens with fact-checker Sophie Hall tracking down a peripheral figure in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph "V-J Day in Times Square" - the one with the sailor kissing the nurse. Her goal is to find out if the moment was indeed spontaneous. Sophie gets her man, and the answer is . . . yes!
Perhaps you thought this question was answered long ago by Eisenstaedt's own accounts, not to mention another picture taken by a different photographer. If so, you're going to have a difficult time putting up with this movie.
Amanda Seyfried ("Mamma Mia!") plays Sophie, a staffer at The New Yorker who dreams of writing. Vacationing in Verona, Italy, she discovers the stone wall where lovelorn tourists leave notes for Juliet Capulet, the fictional Shakespeare character. (Yes, this is real.) Joining the volunteers who write back, Sophie sends a letter to Claire Smith (Vanessa Redgrave), whose note literally fell through the cracks 50 years ago.
Inspired, Claire returns to Verona in search of her lost love, and Sophie tags along, hoping to write about it. Bonus: Claire has a hunky grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan).
You're better off guessing, rather than watching, the rest. Redgrave's Claire is so bland that she makes Sophie, who spends much of this movie texting, look like the complicated one. And The New Yorker, with Oliver Platt in the David Remnick role as editor, turns out to be the kind of magazine that would actually publish Sophie's story.
The movie ends with a balcony scene. And if that's a spoiler, you're welcome.