Love Letter, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

THE LOVE LETTER, rated PG-13, stars Ellen DeGeneres, Kate Capshaw, and Tom Selleck and is about a mysterious and passionate love letter that circulates around a small New England town. No one knows who wrote it or to whom it was written, but everyone who reads it thinks it was intended for them. This ignites several sparks of new and renewed love interest as each recipient of the letter speculates who their secret admirer might be. Helen MacFarquhar (Capshaw), the central focus of the story, is the first to find the letter. As she searches in earnest for the author of the letter and her intended love, she must decide between the love of an old flame (Selleck) or a passionate affair with a young coworker (Tom Everett Scott). This one letter reveals the secret desires and hidden passions of everyone it touches. But who is the author? THE LOVE LETTER only moderately succeeds at being a thoughtful, humorous, and sometimes touching romantic comedy. But it is likely to attract only fans of the stars.

The story idea in LOVE LETTER sounds mysteriously appealing and could have made a very cute film. But unfortunately it goes the way that so many good film ideas go. Love interests turn into lust interests and a relationship means having sex. Sexual intercourse is implied several times between Helen and young Johnny, in bed a couple of times with near nudity and female rear nudity and once in the backseat of his car. In a slightly more graphic scene, the two are rolling around on the floor, kissing passionately, and undressing each other. Ellen Degeneres character provides some comic relief, but much of it is built around crude sexual comments. The overall language includes four obscenities and two regular profanities. Also disappointing is the very acceptable portrayal of a lesbian relationship. Even with the PG-13 rating, THE LOVER LETTERs sexual content and subject matter is not appropriate for teenage audiences and not recommended for discriminating adults.

Preview Reviewer: Cliff McNeely
Dreamworks SKG, 100 Universal Plaza, Building 477, Universal City, CA 90048

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times Mild 2, moderate 4

Obscene Language: Few (4) times f-word 2, s-word 2

Profanity: Several (5) times Regular 2 (G, G forsaken), Exclamatory 3 (Thank G, Oh my G, Oh G)

Violence: None

Sex: Implied several times (unmarried couple on floor rolling around/undressing, in backseat of car, in bed with sheet partially covering bodies, in bed with female rear nudity)

Nudity: Once (female rear nudity); Near Nudity: Few times (womans shirt down over shoulder, male/female nudity obscured under sheet, man/woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (crude innuendoes, references to premarital sex and having sex at end of date, sensual kissing and fondling, couple discusses spending night)

Drugs: Few times - mild (wine with meals, liquor in bar, woman smokes cigarettes)

Other: Neutral discussion of celibacy and virginity

Running Time: 88 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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