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Love Letters (1999)

Steven Weber , Laura Linney , Stanley Donen  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Love Letters + Love Letters - Acting Edition + Love Letters and Two Other Plays: The Golden Age, What I Did Last Summer (Plume Drama)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Steven Weber, Laura Linney, Kirsten Storms, Tim Redwine, Isabella Fink
  • Directors: Stanley Donen
  • Writers: A.R. Gurney
  • Producers: Howard P. Alston, Leonard Goldberg, Martin Starger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001Z3HU4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,926 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Love Letters" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Oscar(r) nominee* Laura Linney (Mystic River) and Steven Weber (Leaving Las Vegas) star in this charming screen adaptation of A.R. Gurney's internationally-acclaimed stage hit, a heartfelt look at love, life and friendship, directed by the legendary Stanley Donen (Singin In the Rain). Andy is a serious, down-to-earth attorney. Melissa is a lively, free-spirited artist. But these two opposites have a definite attraction. They are childhood friends who share a lifetime of experiences through a voluminous series of letters and notes. Poignant, romantic and frequently funny, their correspondence follows a bittersweet path of boarding schools, marriage, children, divorce and missed opportunities. It's the life journey of two soul matesenacted through words both written and unsaidwho share the greatest gift of all: the gift of love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably Laura Linney's Finest Perfomance on Film February 23, 2005
Format:DVD
LOVE LETTTERS has been on making the boards of theaters large and small across the United States (and translated into many languages and performances throughout the world!) since A.R. Gurney first wrote it in 1989. It is still a popular theater piece for actors from film who want to have public exposure on the stage, for benefits, for young actors in training. Why? Because it is an unassuming, interesting easy to perform in reading fashion by just two actors on a small stage, ultimately fine exploration of the variations love has in the periods of each of our lives. It is unpredictable, clever, well written and very meaningfully tender.

In this teleplay, revised for television screens in 1999 by A.R. Gurney, Stanley Donen directs this fleshed-out performing version with a cast that would be difficult to better. Simply stated, this is a epistolary love story that begins when Andy meets Melissa in second grade and progresses through their very different lives (art school, Yale, Vietnam, alcoholism, divorces, politics, affairs, etc) until Melissa ultimately dies (we know this from the opening scene so this is NO spoiler!).

The technique of mixing actual interaction between the two characters with remembered responses works very well. Part of the reason this small play becomes important is the extraordinary performance by Laura Linney as Melissa. The breadth of her characterization is richly detailed, subtle, vulnerable, and wholly credible. Steven Weber as Andy takes a while to warm to his character (the more difficult of the two with whom to identify) but in the end he gives his best work to date.

This is really a fine little movie, interrupted only by the obvious splices of time where commercials were probably inserted in the original television version. It flows naturally and never ceases to hold your attention and your heart as it is lovingly enacted by Linney and Weber. Grady Harp, February 2005
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true love story September 2, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I caught the last hour of this movie on television completely by accident. I am an ardent letter writer..so as soon as I figured out the plot, I was hooked. The characters themselves catch you..you need to know what happens to them. This movie does not have what I would consider the typical hollywood love ending. Everything is not perfect, and you ache from it. The actors make you feel what they are feeling. The love, hate, indifference, and fear. I would recommend this movie to everyone. Honest.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with this movie when I was 18! August 22, 2004
Format:DVD
This was a movie I first caught when it came on TV five years ago. Something told me to tape it, but I didn't and I've regretted it since. I love this movie so much. It's the kind of classic love story that you never hear about anymore. They don't show these kinds of movies with characters embroiled in a passionate yet realistic romance. Even if this love story doesn't turn out the way typical romances do, it didn't give me false hope about romance in general, but it still helped me to believe in deep love. The kind of love few see in their lives. This movie proves that love can be great no matter how imperfect it is. Watch this movie and you'll get that feeling even if it is just for a moment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Stage to Screen: Speaking Letters October 25, 2008
Format:DVD
As presented on stage, A.R. Gurney's popular play features an actor and actress seated at a table, reading a series of letters that describe their lifelong relationship. In fact, during the height of its popularity back in the early 1990s, Los Angeles audiences were treated to an ever-changing cast of stars, each pair staying with the production for a week or so, then relinquishing the stage to another duo.

For this 1999 television adaptation under the direction of Stanley Donen, Gurney opens up his play somewhat. True, most of it takes place in one room, with the two principals speaking the contents of their letters to each other, but this approach, surprisingly, works very well.

Steven Weber plays a U.S. Senator who has just attended the funeral of his friend, Laura Linney. Alone in his office, he begins to read the letters that they wrote to each other over the years, and Linney's spirit appears to deliver her half of the communications, thus the scenes play as a dialogue.

The two characters had met in grade school where they immediately fell in love. However, the fact that Linney was a rebellious, free-spirited girl, while Weber was more serious and down-to-earth, kept them from consummating their romance, except for a brief affair. Both married others, yet each was the great love of the other's life.

The actors are terrific in one of the most moving films I've ever seen. I can't recommend this one too highly.

© Michael B. Druxman
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching !!! March 22, 2005
Format:DVD
I, like Kimberly, by chance caught this movie on television about 5 years ago. I cried at the end and kicked myself in the head repeatedly for not taping it !! I have since been searching high and low for a copy of it only to learn today that it is FINALLY available on DVD! I was ecstatic to learn this and am ordering my copy immediately. The characters are realistic, you find yourself feeling what they are feeling. It is a hauntingly beautiful love story which brought me to tears. I highly recommend it. Ladies,(or gentlemen?)if you are feeling sentimental about someone, rent or buy this film, pop open a good Merlot or other libation, press "play" and enjoy!!!You will not be disappointed!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fantastic story with a very creative way of telling this love story. would love to see this on stage.
Published 6 days ago by rich ayala
5.0 out of 5 stars Gurney's Teleplay Faithful
Just finished watching the movie and whether it's because I'm a woman or an actress who's played Melissa on stage I highly recommend this movie! Read more
Published 6 months ago by YellowGrrl
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely boring!
What a waste of time. I kept waiting for something good to happen and it never did. The connection between these two was boring and bland. Nothing fun, adventurous or interesting. Read more
Published 7 months ago by 10starmedia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Very enjoyable, and quite an original way of chronicling a lifetime love story. I would unhesitatingly recommend this to everyone.
Published 7 months ago by John A. Jodell
1.0 out of 5 stars A woefully uninspired version
I'd always heard good things about the stage version but hadn't ever been able to see it. So when I found the movie, I was eager to watch it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Michele Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Different
I really enjoy Laura Linney. She hasn't had any "major" movie that I'm aware of, but a series of well written movies that her acting skills work well in. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Stella George
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Letters.
Thank you for the delivery of this DVD as I loved the story very much. The acting was great and it was a very sentimental love story of two people who met in 2nd grade and had the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. Sophie S. Bastas
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
The movie was just about two people reading love letters to each other. The only nice twist to it was that the man later knew about the value of the woman when she was already... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE LETTERS
LOVE LETTERS is a beautiful but sad story of two people who love each other but never seem to be able to connect. Read more
Published 22 months ago by B. L. Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars They didn't quite pull it off
This is a very tough setup - basically a 2-character play in which the characters who are in the same room together recite several decades of their correspondence. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Rushmore
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