The Love Letter 1999

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The Love Letter ★½ 1999 (PG-13)

Disappointingly loose adaptation of the novel by Cathleen Schine feels the need to take the focus off the unexpected love story developing between fortysomething bookstore owner Helen MacFarquhar (Capshaw) and college student Johnny (Scott), with too many peripheral characters. (Yeah, Tom Selleck's charming but his character's a goofy distraction.) Anyway, the love letter in question is an anonymous missive Helen receives at her bookstore. She's not certain it's meant for her, and if it is, just who the secret admirer might be. Then Johnny finds the letter and thinks it's meant for him—or maybe it was for Helen's cynical partner, Janet (DeGeneres). The biggest mystery is why the lovely Danner is playing Capshaw's MOTHER (under a ton of rubber makeup) for heaven's sake! 88m/C VHS, DVD . Kate Capshaw, Tom Everett Scott, Tom Selleck, Ellen DeGeneres, Blythe Danner, Gloria Stuart, Geraldine McEwan, Alice Drummond, Jack Black; D: Peter Chan; W: Maria Maggenti; C: Tami Reiker; M: Luis Bacalov.