Joan Larsen Recommends: Love Letters on the Silver Screen

Posted on February 12, 2013


by Joan Larsen

The perfect time of year to curl up on the sofa, fire flickering in the fireplace, for some of my long-time favorite letter-writing movies that are bound to touch the chords of our hearts.

  1. Love Letters (1945), the Jennifer Jones/Joseph Cotton drama in which Cotton wrote love letters for his Army buddy to the girl back home, with Jennifer falling in love with the letters, and marrying the wrong man, leading to tragedy.  A raft of Oscar nominations followed – rightly so –and I find myself seeing it again and again.
  2. The Notebook (2004)The screen adaption of Nicholas Sparks’ best seller is a deeply emotional story of young love, the process of maturity, the crucial choices in our lives, and the frailty of old age.  Get the hankies out as I found the latter parts tear-jerkers.
  3. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)is about two people who find the promise of perfect personal happiness, and understand, with sadness and acceptance, that the most important things in life are not always about making yourself happy.  Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood together – perfection!
  4. Beaches (1988), with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, is a “must see” unforgettable film in every way.  The commitment and dedication the two women have for each other has not been seen in any other film, and hearing the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” as the background music in the most emotional scene finds the audience dabbing their eyes for good reason.  I loved it.
  5. 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft, follows a 20 year correspondence in this true story of New Yorker Helene Hanff (a long-ago friend of mine) and Frank Doel, chief buyer for of an antiquarian bookseller in London.  Absolutely charming and wonderful.
  6. You’ve Got Mail (1998) came out when the world was having a love affair with Meg Ryan already.  Put Tom Hanks in the mix and you come up with a winner, even though they are falling in love thru e-mail (which to me will never shape up to the real pen and paper – ever!)
  7. The Lake House (2006) To be honest, I fell head-over-heels over the architecturally perfect house at first glance so was not at all surprised when a doctor, Sandra Bullock, buys it.  Keanu Reeves had lived there and the two begin exchanging letters using the mailbox outside.  Finding a way to be together proves to be another story that I will wait for you to find out.


Have I missed your own favorites?  Wow, it’s cold outside … so the idea of snuggling on the sofa with a great romantic movie sounds inviting… and so we’re looking forward to hearing about those DVDs we shouldn’t miss!!!

Writer Joan Larsen has spent a lifetime searching for the most remote places on Earth.  But it is the polar regions of our world that she has been drawn back to again and again.  She has done research in these lands of ice, and considers Antarctica to be her “other home.”