Starring: Laura Linney, Paul Rudd, Topher Grace and Gabriel Byrne
Tartan DVD
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 25 September 2006

Following a failed marriage, thirty-nine year old Louis is languishing in the backwaters of her life, working as an admissions officer for a major university. Condemned to having a limited social circle, which consists of her ex-husband and her bitchy friend from school, Louis's life is slowly sinking underneath the weight of its own ennui. Things change when she gets an application from a student who bears the same name as a dead lost love, a love that has become the focus of all her dissatisfaction with life. Intrigued, she contacts the student only to discover that not only does he have the same name but he looks and acts exactly like him. With Louis given a second chance at happiness, can she resist starting a relationship with this supposed reincarnation...?

P.S. was directed by Dylan Kidd from his own adaptation of the original novel by Helen Schulman. The film was nominated for five awards and Topher Grace won the NBR award for best breakthrough performance by a new actor and Laura Linney won best actress at the Mar del Plata Film Festival.

The film poses two intertwined questions. Would you, if you could, revisit a long lost love and if you did would it be the same? It doesn't take Einstein to figure out that most of us would feel drawn to such a proposition, but the cold light of day just reminds you why it didn't work out the first time. Linney, as Louis, and Topher Grace, as F. Scott, do their respective roles justice and their performances make you genuinely curious as to where this odd relationship is heading. The liaison with Scott sets off an explosion of change in her life and although the film ends on a hopeful note, it won't be the one that you will be expecting.

The film has a surprisingly strong supporting cast with Gabriel Byrne playing the dependant ex-husband and Marcia Gay Harder as Louis's bitchy best friend Missy Goldberg.

Although P.S. is an unapologetically romantic film, it avoids plumping the worse depths of mawkish, with most scenes being played as realistically as is possible, given the premise. I have to tip my hat to my other half who reckoned that the initial sex scene was one of the most realistic she had seen. It is not portrayed as elegant, or well staged, but fumbling and awkward (not sure what that says about my personal life and to be truthful I'm not sure I want to know). There is a very clever role reversal with Louis, having waited so long for F. Scott to return from the dead, metamorphosing into a sexual predator. He is the one who is naked while she keeps most of her clothes on and it is Louis who initialises the liaison, but is more than a little insistent that she reaches fruition even though Scott has already finished. It is not until the post coital pause that she revert back into her more common, bashful, persona.

There are some reasonable extras on the DVD, especially the feature length commentary with the director and the director of photography. Apart from that you get the theatrical trailer and promo trailers for other films. Audio comes in all three flavours, stereo, 5.1 and DTS. But to be honest this is an introspective character piece which won't set your rear speakers on fire, so anything above stereo is nice but not necessary.

We took a quick vote in the house and this film is defiantly a chick flick. Now there's nothing wrong with that, and it's not to say that it cannot be enjoyed by men, but like Bridget Jones Diaries it's told very much from the female perspective.

So, a good if not great film. If you're male buy it for your partner and if you're female, this film will bring back thoughts of lost loves and missed opportunities.

Charles Packer

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