I watched Letters to Juliet in the wee hours last night when I couldn’t sleep. Extra movie watching is an actual perk of insomnia, and this movie is a perk of being a movie lover. It’s the kind of thing that thrills the heart of a romantic and may even stir the creaky heartstrings of an entrenched cynic.

It tells the story of a young woman who stumbles upon a band of women in Verona who answer letters written by the broken hearted to Shakespeare’s shattered heroine, Juliet. Enchanted, she become a temporary Juliet herself and answers a fifty year old letter.

Her own letter sets in motion a chain of events that changes lives and regenerates a passion that spans half a century. It’s a glorious story told against an Italian backdrop that looks as if it’s painted by a master’s hand. Which it is, with that master being nature and culture and the human heart.

Vanessa Redgrave plays the woman who wrote the fifty year old letter. Her chracter’s lost love is played by Franco Nero, her own love, lost and found. This People Magazine article tells the story of their meeting as Guinevere and Lancelot, in the movie Camelot (one that I’ve long loved) and on through their tale of decades spent apart followed by a reconnecting and rekindling of romance.

So when I watched this movie to see my favorite actress, I not only enjoyed the wonderful performance I expected. I also saw a movie that resonated as a beautiful story and on into real life through heartstrings connected to the past of not only film history but also the promise that love may indeed endure and it really is never too late for hope and dreams and love.

Letters to Juliet Official Trailer