Linda R. Chen
EW Staff
April 19, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Love Letter

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
performer
Kate Capshaw, Tom Selleck, Blythe Danner, Ellen DeGeneres
director
Peter Chan
genre
Comedy, Romance

We gave it an C

AFTER OPTIONING Cathleen Schine’s best-selling 1995 novel about the budding romance between a middle-aged bookstore owner and a younger man, Capshaw planned for her screen adaptation to be as small and quaint as the book. “The story seemed a lyrical and well-balanced little romantic mystery,” she remembers. “I thought it could have huge appeal, but I envisioned it as a much smaller film.”

Things changed after the project was picked up by DreamWorks (co-owned by Capshaw’s husband, Steven Spielberg): The budget got a boost, and higher-voltage stars like Selleck and DeGeneres came on board. “Our primary audience is definitely going to be women,” says producer Midge Sanford, “but we hope to draw that group of women who will bring the men in their lives into the theaters. Some would say drag. We say bring.” And with Spielberg kicking around the Rockport, Mass., set to visit his spouse and check up on his investment, was there any pressure? “I haven’t been blackballed for kissing Kate,” laughs Scott, who plays her love interest. “Yet.”

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