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The Love Letter (1999)



Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 34

Poor character development and scripting hamper any romantic chemistry.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 12

Poor character development and scripting hamper any romantic chemistry.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 7,985

My Rating

Movie Info

Helen (Kate Capshaw) runs a bookstore in Loblolly By The Sea, a small fishing community in New England where everyone seems to know everyone else's business. A 42-year-old single mother, she is emotionally distant and fearful of getting too close to anyone. George (Tom Selleck) has known Helen since they were schoolmates, and he's been in love with her for ages, but has always settled for just being her friend. Convinced she wasn't interested in him, he married another woman years ago. Helen


Comedy, Romance

Nov 23, 1999

DreamWorks SKG

Watch It Now



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All Critics (73) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (34) | DVD (6)

The Love Letter transports the recipe from Hollywood to New England and turns it into the kind of flavorful clambake that defines summer escapist entertainment.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It wants to revel in rapture and grand illusions and timeless dreams, yet its vision of love is overly graphed out and willed.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A scattershot account of unexpected, confusing romantic love that spreads like a virus!

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although the movie's affection for its characters is refreshing, none of them stirs our passions.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To call this 'a romantic comedy-drama' is to imply an involving emotional core and a witty sense of humor that simply aren't there.

November 10, 2009 Full Review Source:

Charming as it is, the film is too thin to justify carfare and ticket money.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Citysearch

Just doesn't deliver!

January 1, 2000
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This is filmmaking as puff pastry: Some viewers will want to lick up every sweet little crumb and others will find it cloying and twee.

January 1, 2000
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The Love Letter is so slight, so insipid, that a viewer can scarcely find much therein to love or hate.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Lies dormant as a movie.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Surpasses your initial expectations, raises them a little, then just barely fails to meet most of them at last.

January 1, 2000
Charlotte Observer

Intended as an ode to the power of words, 'Letter' is rarely worth listening to, let alone watching, and matters aren't helped by slice-and-dice editing that sometimes makes you wonder if the camera started rolling in mid-scene...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

An enjoyable enough way to spend an hour and a half, but doesn't end up having much to offer in the way of substance.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Has love ever been as boring as it is portrayed in The Love Letter, and, if so, where do babies come from?

January 1, 2000
Ottawa Citizen

Director Peter Chan has a hard time getting beneath the gooey surface of this fanciful story.

January 1, 2000
Philadelphia Daily News

Choosing not to emphasize the romantic angle, the film feels more like a pilot for a television sitcom than a movie.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

There's no chemistry between any of the stars, and there's a puzzling lack of energy.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for The Love Letter

I actually enjoyed this movie. I admit I did have to start it over once about 10 minutes into the movie because I wasn't really paying attention and so I didn't know what was going on. The character of Johnny did make me uncomfortable though with how posessive and pushy he seemed to be. It certainly wasn't a brilliant movie but it was quirky.
February 20, 2010

Super Reviewer

Just okay. I watched for Ellen and Tom Selleck and they were both very loveable.
May 16, 2009

Super Reviewer

A great movie!
April 12, 2007
Leo L

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Love Letter

    1. Eleanor: Helen, can I borrow your car? That Jaguar is so unreliable.
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
    1. Janet: You can't fuck a letter, Helen.
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
    1. Johnny: How can you be celibate if you're a virgin?
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
    1. Miss Scattergoods: A thinning gene pool is a terrible thing to witness. AH, civilization's crowning achievement--cocktail hour!
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
    1. Janet: I love opera... I do! I listen to it when I vacuum all the time.
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 months ago)
    1. Miss Scattergoods: Dearest, do you know how much in love with you I am? I have fallen in love without taking a step. Did I trip, did I stumble, lose my balance, graze my knee, graze my heart? I know I am in love when I see you. I know when I long to see you I'm on fire. Not a mussel has moved. Please hang unruffled by any breeze the air is still. I have fallen in love without taken a step. You're all wrong for me and I know it. But I no longer care for my thoughts unless they are thoughts of you. When I am close to you I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you sometimes and then I look back. When I tie my shoes. When I peel an orange. When I drive my car. When I lie down each night without you I remain yours.
    – Submitted by Cat C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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