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Movie Review

P.S., I Love You a.k.a. “P.S. Ich Liebe Dich”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references and brief nudity

Reviewed by: Maggie Hays

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Drama, Romance, Comedy, Adaptation
2 hr. 6 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 21, 2007 (wide)
DVD: May 6, 2008
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Eternal life—What does the Bible say about it? Answer


Is there an actual place called “Hell”? Answer

Why was Hell made? Answer

Is there anyone in Hell today? Answer

What if I don’t believe in Hell? Answer

The Good News—How to be saved from Hell. Answer

Featuring: Hilary Swank
Million Dollar Baby,” “The Reaping,” “Boys Don’t Cry
Gerard Butler
300,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, James Marsters, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kathy Bates, Dean Winters, Harry Connick Jr., [more]
Director: Richard LaGravenese
“The Mirror Has Two Faces,” “Freedom Writers,” “The Fisher King,” “The Horse Whisperer”
Producer: Wendy Finerman, James Hollond, Julie Huntsinger, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Gary LaPoten, Molly Smith, John H. Starke, Donald A. Starr, Daniel J.B. Taylor, Lisa Zupan
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

This film is based on a novel by Cecelia Ahern.

“Sometimes there’s only one thing left to say.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A grieving young widow discovers that her late husband has left her a list of tasks revealed in 10 messages, delivered anonymously, intended to ease her out of grief and transition her to a new life. Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life—a passionate, funny, and impetuous Irishman named Gerry (Gerard Butler). So when Gerry’s life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry. So it’s a good thing he planned ahead. Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of letters that will guide her, not only through her grief, but in rediscovering herself. The first message arrives on Holly’s 30th birthday in the form of a cake, and to her utter shock, a tape recording from Gerry, who proceeds to tell her to get out and ‘celebrate herself.’ In the weeks and months that follow, more letters from Gerry are delivered in surprising ways, each sending her on a new adventure and each signing off in the same way; ‘P.S. I Love You.’ Holly’s mother (Kathy Bates) and best friends (Gina Gershom) and Denise (Lisa Kundrow), begin to worry that Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but in fact, each letter is pushing her further into a new future. With Gerry’s words as her guide, Holly embarks on a touching, exciting and often hilarious journey of rediscovery in a story about marriage, friendship and how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into a new beginning for life.”

I’m sorry to report that I really don’t have anything good to say about this film. I think it was meant to be a tear-jerker/turned feel-good love story, but when you view it from a Christian perspective, there is so much wrong with this movie that it is not suitable for viewing—not for kids, not for teens, not for Christians. On a personal note, I like Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler as performers. In “Phantom of the Opera,” I think Butler was just about perfect. But I think both Swank and Butler were wasted on this film, as was Kathy Bates—who I will always enjoy in “Fried Green Tomatoes”. But I guess that is movie-making technical stuff, and I’m no expert on who should make what film and star in what role. I can only tell you from a Christian perspective what you as a Christian may find objectionable in this story.

It basically is a love story and probably meant to be a “chick flick.” I am a “chick” and was not moved by this flick. A woman loses her husband to a brain tumor, then receives messages he had left for her to help her through her life for the next year. That’s a sweet sentiment. But for the Christian, do you really want to expose yourself to:

  • Heavy alcohol use as the characters gather in a bar environment.
  • Frequent profanity, and our Lord’s Name abused on many occasions.
  • Crude phrases referring to sexual activity—i.e. “let’s do it”, “hot nasty sex”.
  • Nudity and lots of cleavage and immodest clothing
  • Crude phrases and words frequent this movie—“a_s”, “t_ts”, “balls”, “hung” (referring to male genitals), “bullsh__”, “fag_ot”.
  • Illicit sex

Then, of course, there is the whole gay-club-scene, where we get to see men dancing with men, shirtless no less! You’ve probably seen the ads on TV where Lisa Kudrow bluntly interviews men before deciding to go out with them…”are you married?” “are you gay”, “are you working?”

The point is that this movie displays inappropriate conduct, and discusses inappropriate subject matter. Modesty in clothing or behavior is not valued. This is a very worldly movie and as a Christian I cannot recommend it. For people who revere the Lord and His Word, and all the values of purity and good taste—I regret to inform you that this movie does not embody good taste or portray purity. It is an irresponsible movie full of bad messages for a teen audience, and is a waste of time and money for adults.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments available:
Positive—I went to see this movie with my mom and two friends, and I enjoyed this film. I didn’t like the cursing, gay club, or the pre-martial sex, but I did enjoy this film. It had a great story line, great actors, a husband and wife who really loved each other (which is hard to find these days). The husband knew that she would have a hard time dealing with his death, so he decided to write letters and have her do things she wouldn’t normally do and go places she wouldn’t normally go. She had the support of really great friends, who liked the husband, and vice versa.

I actually liked Lisa Kudrow's lines, Are you married, Are you working, etc. Women should ask questions like that; if not you end up with a jerk, bum, etc. As a Christian, there are some things in the film that I didn’t like. It is not a movie for kids and maybe not young teens, but for adults who are strong in their faith, I don’t see a problem with seeing this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Aleshia, age 19
Positive—As a Single Lady of Christian Faith, I believe movies do have ratings for good reason. So I agree that young teens shouldn’t go see this movie. *Note that is why movies are rated. As I sat there watching this movie, there were times when I should have been crying, but was laughing because I related to what this young lady was going thru. I cried when I should have been crying, I was still relating. I lost my husband to suicide 6 years ago, and then I lost my Dearest friend, My soulmate since childhood to the same illness Gerry had 4 years ago. And let me share that this movie hit right at home. I went thru the stages of grief and still going thru them to an extent. As stated before I am of Christian Faith but I am far from perfect and so is everyone else. Each person deals with grief so differently. I wish that with both my losses, just one of them could have helped guide me thru my grief. How romantic is that and How caring? Sometimes as Christians we need to be careful of blinders, rose colored glasses and or plain ole “Better than thou” attitudes. Very moving movie, and I love how Mom (Kathy Bates) was there with arms wide open and how she gave daughter advice when asked to be completely honest. I know that is all I wanted during my grief. “COMPLETE HONESTY,” don’t hold back the bitter truth. Most times in grieving that is what the one person needs who is the griever is the bitter truth. That person isn’t coming back and you must move on. Everyone’s heart heals and mourns in its own time. Yes, maybe some things were exaggerated; who is to say. Maybe someone went thru this same sort of thing. I know there was a lot I identified with and know that I did that very thing. Sometimes when you are so deeply wounded and in such grief the difference between right and wrong You Just Don’t think about, it is confused in that grief. But that is why we have a Loving God that is there with arms wide open and around us so tight He allows us to grieve in our own way. He didn’t leave me while I was grieving; He was grieving with me and for me.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jennifer, age 43

Does God feel our pain? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

Positive—…This was, by far, the best movie I’ve ever seen and, regardless of the $8.00 movie ticket, I’m going to it again! There was a gay club scene and her “one-night-stand” was unnecessary, but the sexual innuendos you mentioned, such as “hot, nasty sex” were between a married couple just joking around. This movie isn’t meant for kids under probably 15, but it IS rated PG-13 for a reason. I would recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brittany, age 18
Positive—…I went to see this movie with three friends, and I really like it. It was a tear jerka, and I cried quite a bit (but my dad had died just last year). I didn’t like the cursing, gay club, or the pre-martial sex either, but they weren’t in your face the whole time. It had a great story line, great actors, a husband and wife who really loved each other, not just partners which most movies only have partners. The husband knew that she would have a hard time dealing with his death, so he decided to write letters and have her do things she wouldn’t normally do and go places she wouldn’t normally go. She had very supportive friends who helped her on her painful journey, as well as a mother who helped her pull through when it got really tough. As a Christian, there are some things in the film that I didn’t like. I agree it is not a movie for kids and maybe not young teens, but for adults who are strong in their faith. It showed how important it is to be strong for friends and family in such a tough time and with help you’ll pull through quicker. The husband obviously loved her, and I thought it was a very caring loving thing he did for her to help her move on after his death.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jane, age 42, Australia
Positive—I liked this movie so much more than I expected to. It was cleaner than I thought. …I wasn’t even interested in seeing it. But I did, and I loved it! It’s so funny and cute. The sexual scenes didn’t go as far as I thought they would, and I’m glad they didn’t. The story is kinda weird, but it’s so cute. I’ll definitely see it again in theaters.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Britney, age 18
Positive—I …was taken back at the beginning. But, as the movie continued, I got caught up in the way the husband took care of his wife. It made one think. I believe the language and some of the scenes could have been done less offensively, but the basic idea of the movie was a wonderful story line. I know the ladies with me cried and thought about how they treat their spouses. Would recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Toni Hess, age 52
Neutral—First off, this movie did not follow the book at all so if you’ve read the book and are looking forward to seeing it acted out on screen, you’ll be very disappointed. The book, while having its own flaws, (mainly due to crude language) managed to take the story much deeper, explored many more characters in Holly’s life and didn’t cheapen the story with a one night stand. The movie was just okay. As reported above, it did have crude language and lots of implied sex/sexuality but even as far as entertainment goes, it wasn’t impressive. If you HAVE to see it, wait for it to come out on DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Rachelle Smotherman, age 34
Neutral—All of the offensive content aside, I struggled to find a point for this movie. I realize that this is a real process for a widow/widower, dealing with the loss of the spouse. Clinically I see this process portrayed well in the film, but I felt that the entire premise of the movie was pointless. It helped no one, didn’t serve to make the characters life any better and, at times, felt incredibly cruel. If the aim of this film was to be a sweet and moving chick flick, it misses terribly. Chick flicks are sweet and endearing. This film is cruel and painful.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Misty Wagner, age 31
Neutral—This movie is sad. It was a very emotional film; the death of the Hilary Swank's husband (who was a great guy) was very sad. Then his returning all the time through his letters to her was an emotional roller coaster. It may have been a process of “getting over it,” but to me it was too sad. The audience gets to see him while she reads his letters and cries, and then she does what he says to do. The acting was good, but the story plot was too sad for me.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Donnam, age 52
Neutral—Honestly I had a difficult time watching this film because the display of immoral character. Yet, the story line is great… I love the fact that we as Christians have a similar story to that of the movie. The concept of having a letter (bible) written from our one and only true love (GOD) and giving us a daily direction is great. I only discovered this when I had to pray and ask the LORD, “what good can come out of this?”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Tony, age 24


Comments from young people
Negative—One of the girls from my church recommended this book to me because it was a sweet story about a husband who left letters for his wife to help her grieve. When I saw the poster I was excited, but when I got into the movie, the first scene was offensive. I figured it would get better, but the next and the next and the next scene were all highly immoral. I couldn’t even follow the storyline because I was so distracted. I left about two-thirds of the way through. I would not recommend this movie for anyone—not anyone who wishes to keep their mind even somewhat pure. It embodies a great deal of evil things!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Emily, age 16
Neutral—The movie was alright. The story line was cute, but there were things in it I did not like. The movie was sad, but every time you thought you were going to cry, something funny or bad would happen. It is not a movie I would take young children to. When I went to see this I did not realize there was nudity in it, and I would not of gone if I had known that, but, besides that, it was a cute movie. I would recommend you wait for the DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Dani, age 15
Negative—I do not understand how people are rating this as a “positive” movie. This is why we need this site, so that people will understand wrong from right. This movie, first of all, was quite boring and did not bring any moral lessons nor lesson in general (therefore, pointless). This movie is about what? A person who dies and a wife who never lets go. Throughout the pathway she goes, there have been MANY thing that oppose Christianity:
-pre-martial sex.
-pornography or references
-inappropriate ways of expressing sexuality or references
We must realize, that today, many youths, adults, children are all easily influenced by the media. Please DO NOT bring people that are not spiritually mature [I shouldn’t even have seen this] to see this movie.

Sure it was “sad,” “touching” blah blah blah, but when you die, does your spirit really die? No! You either go to hell or heaven. Grieving over one’s loss after how many years should be taken as a psychological problem. Christians should not act the same way. I, in conclusion, do not recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cliffylicious, age 15
Positive—…this movie is amazing. I’ve read the negatives, the positives, and the neutrals, and they all have a point them. But this movie did have a moral to it. It showed that you should never take your spouse for granted. You will never know when you are going to lose them, and grieving is a part of life. When you lose someone, you are not just going to be okay with it. You are going to miss them and wish they are there with you. I loved how the husband was telling the wife that she should do what she loves to do, and how he remembers the first time they met. This movie is truly a chick-flick for me. I recommend it to pretty much everyone!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tram, age 15
Movie Critics
…forced romantic comedy… miscast…
—John Hazelton, Screen International
…overlong melodrama built from the ground up to produce just-below-the-surface tears, not tap into real emotion… You’ll forget it five minutes after it’s over!
—Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic
…silly and blithely inept… a chore to look at…
—Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
…as visually pedestrian as it is narratively saccharine: a contrived, shrill fantasyland somewhere between soapy sentiment and sitcom prattle…
—John Thomason, Orlando Weekly
…It’s not all that bad… I found myself entertained, engaged and, occasionally, pleasantly surprised…
—Cathy Jakicic, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
…Unrealistic… a D-U-D… quickly turns sour for the actress—and fast. …
—Christa Banister, Crosswalk