PS I Love You

March 12, 2021 Sarah Episode 3
PS I Love You
Show Notes Transcript

Talking Sarah through the glories and disasters of their favourite post-millennial, post-mortem romcom is PS I Love You expert and all-round Gerard Butler fan Kate Hudson – a woman who, if Oxford University actually knew anything at all, would instantly be made a GB PhD.

And they find that while PS I Love You is often trite, it's also occasionally touched by genius*, both deliberate and accidental.

*Not Gerard Butler's Irish accent.

Kate brings to the wake a deep love for the "Dead Husbands" entertainment genre, and a masterclass in how to play Snaps; Sarah wonders why Gerry's urn looks like a box for sex toys.
And Kate's cat pod-bombs them!

Warning: very spoilery...

Gerrystorm podcast episode 3, PS I Love You


Sarah (  0:02  

Welcome to the Gerald Butler podcast Gerrystorm, in which I take a deep dive, or sometimes a shallow bellyflop, into the filmography of our Greatest Living Scotsman. I'm Sarah from, and I literally had to fly in from outer space. 

Sarah  0:20  

It's episode three and time for PS I Love You, the beyond-the-grave, rom-com weepy that grossed $156 million when it came out in 2007, despite a critical mauling. I hadn't actually seen it until this week, though I've now watched it twice and it's already one of my favourites. And while I particularly like Gerald Butler's current lockdown look – slightly gone-to-seed lumberjack Gerry is my favourite Gerry – I have to admit he's so scorching hot in PS I Love You we could triple the UK's use of renewable energy simply by wiring him up to the National Grid whenever he comes home. 

But there's nothing worse than an overzealous new convert, so here to provide a more in-depth and longer-term view of the film is Gerald Butler fan and PS I Love You expert Kate Hudson. So Kate, would you like to introduce yourself?

Kate Hudson  1:01  

I mean, you did such a great job! What else can I add on other than to say I own PS I Love You on DVD, blu-ray and streaming?

Sarah  1:11  

I have it on streaming only but I have watched it, well, I'm going for a third time tomorrow, I think.  

Kate  1:16  

There's just something about it where you just want to rewatch it after you watch it.

Sarah  1:19  

It creates an itch, even though it... well yes, flawed but fun. I'm going to give a brief synopsis now in case anyone apart from me earlier this week doesn't know what happens:

Gerry – Gerard Butler – and Holly – Hilary Swank – married young to their parents displeasure, and now live in a tiny apartment in New York. He's a cheeky blue eyed Irishman who started a limousine company with his best friend. She's American and dissatisfied with what they've achieved so far. Then he dies of a brain tumour. As her family and friends push her with unseemly haste into her new future, she is still bereft – until letters start arriving from Gerry, which aim to gradually help her move forward into a new life. On Rotten Tomatoes, PS I Love You has a critics'  score of 25%...

Kate  1:57  


Sarah  1:57  

...and an audience score of 80%! 

Kate  2:02  


Sarah  2:02  

What I'd like to know first is what you thought when you first saw it, how often you go back to it and also what it kind of means to you because it does seem to be one of those films that means a lot to women who've seen it, even though they can see its flaws. It still has a special place in their hearts. 

Kate  2:17  

 Oh, gosh, I love it. Okay, so I first saw this movie, I think I was telling you before we started recording, I really wanted to see it in 2007 because I've loved Gerard Butler since 2004. Like I've been a superfan since then. I love him. But no one would come see it with me. None of my girlfriends, I couldn't get a boyfriend to come for obvious reasons. So I didn't get to see it until summer of 2008 when it was out on DVD, and the love of my spring, basically that spring left to go to another city, to follow another girl. And I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken! And so I watched it and I really, really really wanted to cry over it. But I couldn't because I realised he wasn't worth it because no man can compare to Gerry in this movie, because he's the perfect husband. 

Because Holly's terrible – like we need to get into this, Holly is atrocious

Sarah  3:05  

He's also the only thing that made me warm to her was that her family and friends were so determined when the poor girl was still grieving to push her on to the next stage. I did have her back. At one point she's moaning to her friends – this is after he's died – about how she always used to complain. And they're saying "oh everyone does that" and you think well no, she did always used to complain!

Kate  3:26  

She has an accident and blames him! Like, the movie starts with them arguing over nothing, like literally nothing. She didn't like the subtext of what he said which wasn't there. And he's a saint. You're like, oh god this guy is perfect. It's like the anti-Twilight which is another one of my favourite movies because she's just a blank slate so there's nothing to like or dislike. In PS I Love You she is actively awful. It gives us regular women hope that somebody amazing can come along. If this horrible shrew can find somebody maybe we all can!

Sarah  4:00  

We don't find out... really not til near the end that the way she and also her mother act are because of her father leaving but that's only really touched on you wonder if that was something they cut more of it out or something because it does mean that she just comes across as really, really annoying.

Kate  4:04  

The one time she's charming – she's charming the very last scene – but when she first meets him she's not like this.

Sarah  4:23  

But then she was annoying for different reasons.

Kate  4:25  

I know! It's amazing. I watch this movie two or three times a year. Truly. I love it. When I lived in England, I had like an open plan really small apartment, so I'd put it out and clean my house. It's a good movie to clean your house to.

Sarah  4:40  

I think it'd be a great background movie, actually, while I'm pottering around because then you can duck out of the really cringy bits because there are some really cringy bits. And I think one of the issues for me is that the beginning is so cringy that I could see people who aren't Gerard Butler fans not really sticking with it.

At the beginning he's almost leaping around when they're going up the stairs and he's desperately trying to get her to explain what he's done wrong. And he reminded me, have you seen Monty Python's Life of Brian?  

Kate  5:04  

Oh, not in a long time.

Sarah  5:05  

He reminded me of the leper who gets cured who then bounces around Brian.

Kate  5:08  

Let's be honest here who's gonna watch a romcom that isn't a Gerard Butler fan? It's a perfect circle, that Venn diagram of Gerard Butler fans and romcom fans.

Sarah  5:16  

Yes. you know, when films come out, and they do the demographic of men versus women who went to see it, and  the different age groups . I imagine it was 80% women and 20% boyfriends dragged along.

Kate  5:25  

Oh, for sure. For sure. The thing is, it's maudlin – it scratches a specific itch. That "dead husband" genre which I love.

Sarah  5:34  

I read somewhere that one of the top fantasies for women is their husband dying. I'm sure they don't mean it! I know what you mean, feeling nicely tearful about someone who doesn't actually exist, this perfect guy who's then gone and also behaves beautifully from beyond the grave. Looking after her for a year and then letting her go. You know, he's perfect in death as in life.

Kate  5:55  

It's my favourite genre. We have Ghost, we have that Alan Rickman movie, remember where he's a ghost: Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Sarah  6:02  

When that came out, that was such a huge deal, as an exploration of grief as well. And love. 

I put three notes in big letters when I was watching it. One was "she moans all the time". Especially about that lovely apartment, especially nowadays, as in every country, it gets harder and harder for young people to get that kind of place. It's almost taking on the proportions of the house in Home Alone.

Kate  6:23  

Yeah. For a studio It is very well-proportioned. Especially for New York.

Sarah  6:28  

Yes, it was really, really lovely. The other thing I wrote was "candles" because she has them all around her little Gerry shrine and I was terrified she was going to burn the apartment down. And the third thing I wrote was "she eventually moved on and fell in love with shoes".

Kate  6:39  

Right? It's ridiculous. And then she screws his best friend in the end too. Like, there's so much like, "Huh?!" going on in this movie.

Sarah  6:48  

There are so many "what the fuck" moments aren't there, where you just think, hang on, he's been dead three weeks and they're trying to get her to go out. And all her friends, her friends are a good group, particularly Denise, Lisa Kudrow. Who just plays another version of Phoebe, but she's so brutal but funny that it kind of works. So, you know, I liked the characters, but as a bunch they are pretty unsympathetic – the fact that she's lost the love of her life.

Kate  7:11  

Yeah. Well, can we also point out that she's supposed to be 30. But it's clear, Gina Gershon and James Marsters, they're clearly 15 years older than she is, and it's a weird dynamic.

Sarah  7:21  

It is, and then Jeffrey Dean... Morgan. I always get him mixed up with Harry Dean Stanton. I haven't been watching The Walking Dead but I've seen the advertising, and he's been in that. And of course, now he looks like a grizzled middle-aged guy, which he is. And I was really surprised it was him. But when it was filmed, he would have been about 40. He looks younger, he looks about 30. 

Kate  7:21  

Yeah, well that happened right at his renaissance. So 2006 was when he became huge with Supernatural and he did Grey's Anatomy, which has made him like a huge breakout star here. So he must have gotten this one. Honestly, he could have left Supernatural because he got PS, I Love You. 

Sarah  7:59  

You're right. He is very like Gerry. So she's clearly going for the type. But when it turned out that he knew Gerry when they were children...

Kate  8:07  

It's just icky. 

Sarah  8:08  

It didn't occur to you that an American called Holly popping up in your neighbourhood might be something to do with your dead friend?

Kate  8:14  

Like, bone first ask questions later...always strikes me as weird.

Sarah  8:19  

Your friends wouldn't come and see it with you. Were they just not Gerard Butler fans, or not romcom fans, or was it just not their thing?

Kate  8:24  

Probably a combination of all of those. I don't understand how someone cannot be a Gerard Butler fan. I just, I love him so much. But yeah, or maybe they didn't... I was living in Washington DC at the time and that's a very transient town. It came out around Christmas, so maybe like everyone's going back to their families? I don't know.

Sarah  8:40  

America has a big thing about movies coming out on Christmas Day, don't they? Whereas over here, they open on Boxing Day, which is the day after. My sister lived in Manhattan during the '90s. And I remember going over there for Christmas, and going to the cinema on Christmas Day with a guy I met on the plane. 

Kate  8:56  

That's amazing. Did you fall in love for a day? 

Sarah  8:59  

No he was too preppy. And he told me I wore too much makeup. I remember we saw Man On The Moon?

Kate  9:05  

Ah the Andy Kaufman one. 

Sarah  9:07  

Yes. So we saw that, that was Christmas Day cinema. So yeah, I can imagine a lot of people were probably at home. 

Kate  9:12  

I mean, to be fair, it's a movie you really need to experience at home by yourself. Not in a theatre, anyway.

Sarah  9:17  

People keep talking about the cinematic experience, especially at the moment after everything's been shut on and off for a year. But really, it's a snuggling up at home film when no one else can see you crying and freeze-framing it with his shirt off.

Kate  9:28  

Yes. So I think 2008 was his hottest year, like that's where he peaks. This is basically when he's at his most – I mean, he's still an attractive man – but when he's at his most attractive.

Sarah  9:38  

I wasn't too fond of the early years haircut he had. But then this one, I was astounded by how good-looking he was in it. Because I like him now, over 40 and gone to seed a bit. But yeah, when they meet for the first time when she's lost in County Wicklow Park. And she's wearing that hideous outfit, that lovely dress then with every other colour they could possibly put on her in the Wardrobe Department. And I know they're trying to make a look like the heather. But it is a bit much. When they meet on that road and she's kinda irritating. I mean, he falls for her completely. But he is impossibly handsome.

Kate  10:09  

I know. They are kind of like that over there though. I did very well for myself when I went over there. 

Sarah  10:14  

What happened? 

Kate  10:15  

Oh, which time?

Sarah  10:18  

Did someone sing Galway Girl for you?

Kate  10:20  

Yes, actually, well it may not have been Galway Girl. But I met a few guys over there. This one got us at a lock-in in a pub. And once you get locked into the pub, they all sing Irish songs. So they would all take turns singing, it was magical. Oh, he was great. Not to give too much of my game away, but it happened again with a different guy another time I was over there. So that's just the thing they do. And they love the American accent. So if there's any American ladies listening, go to Ireland.

Sarah  10:48  

I thought he was a great singer in it. And they make out that Holly is this terrible, terrible singer. It's kind of this running joke. And I'm a terrible singer. So when they do this in movies, I always think finally someone who's like me. And then they always sing and they're fine. It's like they're never really, really terrible singers. 

Kate  11:04  

Do you think that this is what got him Phantom of the Opera, where he is a terrible singer.

Sarah  11:10  

I've half-watched that. I haven't watched that properly. He'd been in a band, like a college band, and then got the job for Phantom of the Opera, [KATE'S CAT ARRIVES!] is that your cat?

Kate  11:19  

Sorry. It's better if I just let her sit on me.

Sarah  11:21  

You always have to have a cat on Zoom. It's not a proper Zoom meeting without one.

Kate  11:24  

She's the worst. This cat is almost 20 years old and she won't die. She's very mobile. She'll outlive me.

Sarah  11:30  

She'll outlive Gerry in this film.

Kate  11:31  

Oh, for sure!

Sarah  11:32  

He made it to 35 I think.

Kate  11:33  

Bless him. Ohhh, what a good 35.

Sarah  11:36  

Did you think he was well cast because I thought he was a very good fit.

Kate  11:40  

Yeah, I think he was really well cast. I think that she sticks out but I like her in this because it makes it really easy to put yourself in those shoes and be like, well, she's horrible, and she's gonna end up okay, so I think I'll be better. And we do got to give it to Hilary Swank. Her body is banging in this movie. 

Sarah  12:00  

She looks amazing. 

Kate  12:01  

Her clothing is impeccable. Like, even in 2021 looking at 2007 styles, there's not one thing other than that horrible 19 year old outfit that you wouldn't want to wear now.

Kate  12:11  

Yeah, you're right. Everything I was looking at I was thinking I would wear that now. I thought her clothes were lovely. The only thing is, you know, she had all these trips to Ireland. She doesn't seem to possess like a pair of jeans and some sensible boots. Even when she goes back, she's traipsing around in these lovely quilted coats and perfect handbags – and headbands. 

Kate  12:30  

Maybe that's the key. Maybe that's what gets her all those hot 10 out of 10 Irish guys.

Sarah  12:35  

Yeah, she really did hit the jackpot. The other thing I liked about Gerry was that they so overdid the Irishness and first of all at his wake his urn looked like it should be full of sex toys or something.

Kate  12:45  

Right? That was not a good design choice.

Sarah  12:47  

And when they said that his favourite song was Fairytale Of New York and I actually thought at first it was gonna be like a joke because I really like the song but it's almost like a tourist song now. 

Kate  12:56  

Oh, yeah. 

Sarah  12:57  

And no, that really was Irishman Gerry's favourite song.

Kate  13:00  

And do you like how to get away with... because even in 2007 having that F word in that song was like, not great. So they have the priest sing it, like "oh no it's ok"?

Sarah  13:11  

That's it – it's always been frowned upon, hasn't it? 

One thing I thought was interesting is that obviously neither of us have read the book, but I thought we'd have him actually dying, but there's nothing like that. It's literally you have their argument at the beginning, which really sets the scene for the kind of people that they each are, and the moaning and her love of shoes and everything else. And then it's his wake. I mean, you find he had a brain tumour, but you know, there's no kind of lingering...

Kate  13:31  

Sarah, Sarah, you gotta get the DVD because there are deleted scenes and one of them is him. But they cut it out because it was too maudlin. It's him in full "I have a brain tumour I'm gonna die" makeup, going to the travel agency and setting up the Irish trip for her.

Sarah  13:47  

I was going to ask you about moments in it that make you cry. And that was one of mine. When she goes in and sees Barbara and hands over the folder about the holiday and Barbara starts crying. I started crying. Yeah, I guess it was probably too depressing.

Kate  14:00  

I think I remember the commentary on it because I think they did commentary from the director: it was just too much. No one wants to see him actually die because it makes it more real. And it's not this beautiful fantasy anymore, when halfway through the movie, you see this beautiful man, bald with rheumy eyes, clearly ill.

Sarah  14:18  

And also – he's not a ghost – but he's in her imagination, he's with her and she can feel him and we see him for so much of the movie where he's looking perfectly fine. I'm gonna have to order the DVD as soon as we're off this now.

Kate  14:31  

That's the only scene I remember extra. I think they also have a "making of" how to play Snaps because it's such a complicated game.

Sarah  14:38  

I was watching it and I thought I've never heard of this. They'd show someone doing it like in the club and I think okay, I got that. And then they'd show Holly's sister Chiara doing it and didn't make any sense. And then I googled and I found all these articles. And the more I read about it, the less sense it made. So I don't really know what it's meant to be about. I mean, do you?

Kate  14:55  

Yeah, so every five years I forget about it, and I re-teach myself how to play it. It's not a game I'm good at. So you'll go "Snaps is the game, the name of the game is Snaps" – which means that I'm going to give you clues about the person's name. And then there's a "Get ready!" so that G is going to be, the first letter of the name is G, and then they snap E [TWO SNAPS]. So it would be "Get ready! [TWO SNAPS]"

Now I have to come up with an R word because I'm trying to snap you Gerry. So it'd be: "Get ready!", G; E is two snaps; R: "Row harder!" "Row!" "Yes!"

 You snap out the vowels. So whatever you say for the consonant, you have to say with that letter. And then they play it: when you're done with the word, you slide your hand. But you have to know how many snaps are each vowel because A is 1. I had to count it out, I wasn't prepared to come up with an R word. 

It's a dumb game, especially what they were drinking. So it's clear that's not based on real life, because there's no way a drunk person can play that.

Sarah  16:03  

I was gonna say, a drinking game with Snaps just sounds... Or Snaps with schnapps!

Kate  16:07  

They were bombed and they got Mariah Carey and Derek Jeter.

Sarah  16:10  

Who is Derek Jeter?

Kate  16:11  

He's the baseball player. He was a big deal in 2007.

Sarah  16:16  

It has dated a bit you know, some of the lines you think well, you wouldn't have them but that's gonna happen in a 13 year old film. 

I did enjoy it despite some of the cringy moments. It was like looking for slivers of black truffle in a lump of cheddar because there's a lot of cheese but then there's these moments of brilliance. There's some great lines, there's some things which shouldn't work but do, like him singing songs to her in the pub and things like that. And then you've got that ending which is actually really, really emotional. Really kind of touches you, that last letter. But in between, you know, a lot of it is extremely silly.

Kate  16:47  

I know. You know, the one part I could do without, is you could take Harry Connick Jr. out and the movie would not suffer.

Sarah  16:53  

I wrote just a few notes about all the characters and I've literally got: Holly's sister Chiara, what I think of her; Denise what I think of her; Holly's mum what I think of her; Jeffrey Dean Morgan as William, what I think of him. And then it's Daniel – Harry Connick Jr, nothing.

Kate  17:06  

Right. Because I think he's a red herring. I think it's like by 2007, we would all expect her to be getting with him at the end of the movie. And I feel like they just put that in to be like, "Oh, this is different. Oohhh."

Sarah  17:20  

Their relationship is quite sweet. He's another one who is a bit like Denise, just accidentally rude all the time. But yeah, he doesn't have to be there.

Kate  17:28  

No. So, every time –  I'm very happy in Chicago, I have a beautiful home, beautiful friends – but every time I watch this movie, I'm like, "Oh, I should live in New York". It does such a good job about making New York seem interesting.

Sarah  17:43  

Yeah. Which is why her moaning about the apartment seems so weird, because it's just like, you look like you're having this amazing life where you live, and she's got her family there, which most New Yorkers probably don't have. They have everything and she's still complaining. But yeah, it's a very good sense of place in there. And also in Ireland when they head over there. It does make you want to live there. 

Kate  18:02  

Right. And I think the book actually all takes place in Ireland.

Sarah  18:06  

I think it works so well having him out of place if you see what I mean. 

One thing that it's hard to get to ring true is the fact that his parents don't come over for his funeral. And that's just weird, and they didn't come over when he was ill. So that I thought was one of the odder things that happens in it. 

But you do get that sense that they've pissed off all their family in different ways by getting together. Holly is trying to navigate her way through the first year. And the first year after someone dies – this is what I kept coming back to this unseemly haste, that everyone's kind of trying to push her into this new life. And even her mum told Gerry when he was presumably dying, that she didn't think the letters were a good idea! You know, with grief, the first year that person has to find their own way to carry this with them. She has to learn how to do that. And sometimes people get stuck in grieving and then they need some help. But you know, she's not getting stuck. She's just going through what would be normal, living off junk food, singing sad songs off black and white films. Wearing his underwear – maybe not?

Kate  19:11  

I guess the only argument there is that if they didn't do that there wouldn't be a movie. I like the genre Sarah, I like the "dead husband" genre so much. I don't know why. I also like it when they're ghosts, right? Like one of my favourites is Ghost Whisperer. Like, this is my bread and butter.

Sarah  19:25  

There are certain shows which I got massively into at the time, this is when my children were babies and I was up in the middle of the night. One of them was Bones and the other one was Ghost Whisperer.

Kate  19:34  

Yes! You get it! You get it!

Sarah  19:37  

I just loved it. You know the whole thing: her immaculate look; her shop that presumably made no money; constantly people popping up and haunting her and her resolving all their problems. And then these terrible stories. I remember one where this woman was escaping her abusive husband with her daughter and ended up freezing to death. And yet somehow the husband gets forgiven at the end!

Kate  19:57  

It's amazing. I remember when her husband dies, and he's a ghost that goes into the other body. This is my favourite genre.

Sarah  20:03  

I did like the way that – obviously because I like Gerard Butler – but anyway, I like the way that he kept coming back looking particularly real. We weren't getting knocks on doors and seances.

But I think that's quite a good sub-genre to be into. Because you can probably work through quite a lot issues.

Kate  20:18  

Oh yeah. There's something about grieving as darkly beautiful that has always appealed to me even as a child. Like all those songs about dead boyfriends I was obsessed with growing up like Leader Of The Pack, Last Kiss, love those. Because grief is raw and ugly when you actually feel it.

Sarah  20:36  

Yes. Truly Madly Deeply was the ugly side of grief. Whereas this is the very pretty side, because even when she hasn't washed for weeks, she still looks amazing. 

Kate  20:44  

I think there is something beautiful about grief. You know, like everybody's obsessed with that line from Wandavision right now. I'm sure you've heard of it. 

Sarah  20:50  

What is grief but love persevering? 

Kate  20:52  

Yeah, so I think that there's something to it. I always connect with the more beautiful Victorian tragedy side of grief, as opposed to the raw ugly side.

Sarah  21:03  

That'd be very elegant actually: PS I love you set in Victorian England.

Kate  21:06  

Right! Cecilia Ahern wrote a sequel called I think PS I Still Love You, which came out last year.

Sarah  21:11  

Because they're doing a film of it. 

Kate  21:12  

They're not going to get Gerry though, right? Are they?

Sarah  21:14  

I was wondering – unless they decide that ghosts age.

Kate  21:17  

Well, they could do that horrible thing they're doing now where they're de-ageing you.

Sarah  21:21  

Deep Fake Gerry. 

Kate  21:22  

It's called PostScript – I just had to google it. 

Okay. So I love 2007 Butler because he's trying, right? He's trying to be a movie star. And he's trying to sell this movie. He stopped trying about 2013. I think we've gotten a better Butler as a result – I just love Lazy Butler. I love him.

Sarah  21:37  

He doesn't really care does he.

Kate  21:38  

No. Like in Hunter Killer, where all he'll do is move forward and move back when the sub is going down. And they had to hire a whole other group of people to do fight scenes because you could just tell he's like, "I'm done. I'll stand here." 2007 Butler would be like "I'm gonna do my own stunts. We're gonna do this. It's gonna be great." And now he's just like "no". I have a running joke with my friends that Gerard Butler's ideal job is going to be where he gets to lay on a couch and they green screen everything in around him and he never has to get up.

Sarah  22:06  

I watched Law Abiding Citizen about two months ago and in that his character does a lot of terrible things. But Gerry actually never does them. They're happening offscreen, you only see the after-effects, the explosions, and so you think you know, he's not actually doing that much in the movie. Except sitting there in an orange jumpsuit.

Kate  22:23  

I really admire him for being that committed to being lazy. It just makes magic! Listen, when Butler's good he's good but when he's bad, he's great. That's all I can say.

Sarah  22:34  

Have you seen the third Has Fallen movie, Angel has Fallen?

Kate  22:37  

Of course I have!

Sarah  22:38  

I love that one because he's at the stage where he creaks when he gets out of a chair.

Kate  22:41  

and so they blow more things up as a result, like he's no longer running or fighting; they blow up a mountain which is awesome.

Sarah  22:47  

And then he steals a massive truck!

Kate  22:50  

You compare him... I think Keanu Reeves is older than he is and Keanu Reeves is kicking ass as John Wick. 

Sarah  22:55  

I did love Angel Has Fallen. But I did do a section in my review comparing John Wick clattering through Manhattan on a horse and Gerry in his articulated lorry at the petrol station.

Kate  23:06  

I need to be VERY clear to people here. I don't want that to change. I want him to get lazier. I think Keanu Reeves has made some boring, uninteresting movies. There is nobody out there right now who just makes entertaining movies like Gerard Butler does. 

Sarah  23:18  

But also I think he has particular sections of his career. So like you say, there's a time when he's trying. There's a time when he did romcoms, there's a time when he's doing action stuff. And now he's getting a bit more thoughtful again, because obviously you can be thoughtful from a comfy seat.

Kate  23:31  

Greenland, he gets to be in a truck all day. He's happy.

Sarah  23:35  

He's in the car a lot, isn't he.

Kate  23:37  

I just really love how he's like graduated out of heartthrob, because the heartthrob movies are fine; you get PS I Love You, which I love but you also get like the Bounty Hunter which sucks. So now that he's ageing out, he's getting more movies that would be direct to video, like in 1999. He's gonna find a sweet spot there.

Sarah  23:55  

He is still really good looking, but to an extent his fans are ageing with him.

Kate  23:59  

Oh, don't get me wrong. He's not gonna get Sexiest Man Alive right now. And that's fine. He's beautiful. I need to make it very clear. He's just not chasing that beefcake Hollywood Channing Tatum thing anymore, you know. Gerard Butler, I love him. You know what, we got to hand to him, dating that woman he was with for years was age-appropriate too.

Sarah  24:19  

Exactly yeah. And also he did Den Of Thieves where he basically seems to have just eaten doughnuts the whole time and run quite slowly through quite dangerous situations.

Kate  24:30  

Oh my god, Den Of Thieves. I call it Heat but on huffers you know, like you huff spray cans and it makes you really dumb. That's what Den Of Thieves is. I love it. It's amazing. I need to really reiterate because sometimes I talk too much trash about the things I love and people walk away thinking "Oh, she doesn't love this". I love Gerard Butler. And the thing is, is he seems self-aware enough to know and be okay with this. I feel like he'd be okay with this conversation.

Sarah  24:56  

I think he's very self aware. But it's interesting what you were saying about Keanu before. Because Keanu Reeves works very well in particular types of films, and now he's found the John Wick films which work but there's a lot of stuff he's done where he's just really really miscast. Whereas with Gerry, he just seems to go from type to type. It's like "I've done that I'm going to move on and do this and now I can pick and choose what I want to do". I mean he's having a realrenaissance. I mean, Angel Has Fallen was pretty well reviewed. Greenland has been really well reviewed.

Kate  25:23  

Well let's be really honest, Gerard Butler in 2021 belongs direct to video and I don't mean that meanly.

Sarah  25:30  

And that's what cinema is at the moment. 

Kate  25:31  

Yeah. The thing about him – and this is where he differs from Keanu – is Keanu will pick just boring movies. Keanu's not a good picker. Butler picks, I can't think of one movie he's made in the past five years that hasn't been entertaining. His last kind of fart-sniffing movie was Coriolanus which was like, "okay...".

Sarah  25:35  

Oh I really liked that, that's the next one we're doing, that's our next episode. 

Kate  25:54  

But it was definitely done to, like: "Awards! Acting!".

Sarah  25:58  

It was and then it didn't really win much. And it's a great film. He looks amazing. And it's another... I call them boilersuit Butler films. And they've updated it and it's a really good film but you get the impression that this was expected to be where people finally see that he's a good actor because he is when he wants to be.

Kate  26:14  

It's not one I really revisit because I like the shoot 'em up Butlers. 

The older I get the more I'm just grateful, because I got a drama degree in England that I never pursued because those people have a hard life. It's so much easier to be on the outside looking in than be on the inside and have all that pressure. That poor man, because they say that he got addicted to painkillers because all those stunts just ground his body down.

Sarah  26:33  

He did a film called Chasing Mavericks. Have you seen it?

Kate  26:40  

No, that's the one I haven't seen. 

Sarah  26:43  

It's a surfing one and I think there he got quite badly injured. I don't know anything about surfing. I knew quite a lot by the end! 

Kate  26:51  

We can joke about him getting lazy, but I think he's probably ruined his body doing these movies.

Sarah  26:56  

Yeah, I think he and a lot of his generation must be really creaky now. You just can't keep doing that. At some point he's just gonna fall apart.

Kate  27:03  

And he found success in his early to mid-30s too. It's not like he was doing this at 25 and you can bounce back. Tomb Raider 2, which is where I first saw him, was 2003. So he was 34 years old when he did that movie. I'm 36 – I already creak. You know, he must have been creaking then. Gerard Butler, we salute you for your service.

Sarah  27:26  

He's almost at National Treasure stage, isn't he. He looks like he'd be quite fun to go on a night out with.

Kate  27:32  

Just bring the hand sanitizer. He just seems like you want to give him a couple squirts every time, like every hour. Like "Come on Gerry, give me your hands. I bet they're sticky. I don't wanna know where they've been." I love him.

Sarah  27:44  

So anyway, back to crying in this movie! Is there a particular point where it's almost like "I know it's coming. I'm gonna really enjoy it" or do you find different bits get you each time?

Kate  27:52  

My favourite line in the entire movie, and it always makes me laugh out loud, is when they come in on her and she's singing. And she goes "I'm really tired". And Lisa Kudrow goes like "Yeah, what, you're doing two shows a night?" The way she delivers it, it's just my favourite line in the movie.

Sarah  28:08  

I really like the line when Holly takes Daniel to the Irish Famine Memorial. They're eating and he's like, this is really terrible that you're eating at the famine memorial. And she says "Gerry thought it was the best way to honour the dead, show them how well we're doing."

Kate  28:21  

You know, it just has so many good lines. And the one I think about a lot is when someone in my life dies, is at the end where he goes, you know, "you were my whole book, but I'm only one chapter in yours".

Sarah  28:32  

I've got a whole thing about the ending, where he says: "I'm a man with no regrets. How lucky am I? You made my life Holly, but I'm just a chapter in yours". It really sums it up because it's so sad in that he's not even a chapter. Within 15 to 20 years, he's probably going to be a dusty footnote, people will have moved on, she'll probably have remarried, you know, she might have children. And that's the truest bit of the movie, you know, that he knows that he's got to step back and he is just going to be forgotten. And I do think with dying, one of the things I'm most worried about is being forgotten!

Kate  29:02  

Really? To me, it's like the world was fine before me. I'm sure it'll be fine without me. 

Sarah  29:07  

But there will be a Kate-shaped space! 

Kate  29:09  

Yeah, but you've got to fill it. The thing that I tell myself is that I won't be the first and I will not be the last. Somehow this system works its way out. I actually think it's easier to be the one dying than to be the one left behind. 

Sarah  29:22  

Nature abhors a vacuum so I guess our spaces get filled up pretty quickly. But yeah, I thought that was a really great line. Just as he sets her on her way.

Kate  29:31  

I think about that when people in my life have passed; because it's 14 years later, people have passed in my life. It's a thing I get hung up on at first when it's fresh. It's like the story is over. But then it's like, okay, their story's over, their book is over, but you got to, you got to keep on you just have to move on because it's not living if you don't.

Sarah  29:50  

And I think also, you know, pretty much every death, it's about people's timespans not matching, someone's going to be born first. Someone's going to live longer, and you just have to find a way. And I thought it did that really cleverly, because it's not a particularly deep film, but actually I thought that bit was great. And it left me feeling quite deflated at the end, you know, despite all the triteness earlier on – oh and his terrible accent, we have to talk about that – it did leave me feeling quite deflated, that that's what it comes to.

Kate  30:17  

There's something sort of beautiful about her accepting it too.

Sarah  30:20  

And it takes a year to get there.

Kate  30:21  

Which is quick! What's the saying: it takes you half as long as the relationship to get over it, so it should really take her five years. 

Sarah  30:30  

She's out there pretty quick. Good for her!

Kate  30:33  

And she gets to fuck his best friend. Maybe that helps.

Sarah  30:36  

He is pretty hot as well. Anyway, we need to talk about the accent. 

Kate  30:39  

It's horrible. It's horrible. 

Sarah  30:42  

Didn't he apologise to the Irish people years later?

Kate  30:46  

Here's the thing. I love this man. I love it when he does an American accent because it sounds like he's chewing grave

Sarah  30:52  

It's out the side of his mouth isn't it. And there's always some point in the movie where he says something in Scottish. 

Kate  31:00  

He can't not do it. I mean, here's the thing. Americans do terrible British accents. The British do terrible American accents. He does them all bad apparently. The worst thing is, is that his native accent is so beautiful. Why would you ever want to cover it up? 

Sarah  31:15  

It seems to wax and wane throughout the film. Or maybe it's just you get lulled into this sense where it almost becomes normal and then it rears back in all its squeaky cod-Irishness. Have you seen Movie 43?

Kate  31:27  

Oh, urgh yeah...

Sarah  31:29  

Because he plays twin sweary leprechauns in that. Irish leprechauns. So he clearly dusted off the accent again.

Kate  31:36  

You know, Americans can do a decent Irish accent. But there's just something about the way that the accents work that Scottish men should not try.

Sarah  31:45  

They're all Celtic people. I can't do accents at all so I shouldn't really slag him off for it.

Kate  31:49  

The thing about the English is, your accents differ by city. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. So you guys can all do like, "Oh, that's a Bournemouth accent" and then you can mimic that. So your hands are full, just mimicking the five cities around you that all sound different.

Sarah  32:04  

So what's your favourite bit of the movie?

Kate  32:06  

Yeah, back to PS I Love You!

Sarah  32:09  

When you have it on in the background and you're house-cleaning, when do you switch off the vacuum and run back in?

Kate  32:15  

When he sings – when he sings to her! Ohhh! I love that. I love pub culture, though. Irish pub culture is the best.

Sarah  32:21  

That is lovely. Actually, when he's playing the guitar for her and singing in the pub.

Kate  32:28  

There's nothing better than when the lead singer sees you. And like comes after you. It's the best feeling. Oh my god.

Sarah  32:35  

It's funny, though because before she sees him in the pub, and she's met him on the road, and they kiss. And he says he's going to be playing in this pub. And she decides she's going to leave it to fate, as to whether she walks into the pub. That's the kind of thing you can do at 19. You wouldn't do that at 30. You wouldn't risk losing such a great prospect.

Kate  32:55  

I would hold on to the coat though, as collateral. At my age, he would have been invited in. You don't run that risk. I guess when you're 19 it's like "Oh". No, when I was 19 I was like, every time I felt any sort of attraction or any sort of connection, I thought that would be the last one. You'd never meet somebody you felt about this way. Now at my age I'm like, "Oh, well, you know, he's hot! Let's make this happen!" You know.

Sarah  33:19  

I do like that scene. And I do think he looks amazing when they're walking along. And she's in that hideous – I can see her in my screensaver behind...

Kate  33:28  

I know – I'm looking at it!

Sarah  33:31  

...the red gloves and the purple hat.

Kate  33:33  

And he still fell in love with her! That should give all of us hope even though it's a movie.

Sarah  33:38  

Yeah, and he might die after five years but they would've been five good years. 10 years. 10 years they were together, weren't they.

Kate  33:45  

I wonder if she regrets not having that baby. So you have that piece of him. 

Sarah  33:48  

That was my thought actually – he has to be remembered then, because there's a connection. I do worry, as you can tell I'm very worried in this that she might forget him. You wouldn't forget that accent though, would you. 

Kate  33:59  

No, or that butt. So I think he's good.

Sarah  34:02  

The accent haunts my dreams and him with his shirt off does as well but in a good way. But yeah, I wouldn't normally rewatch romcoms, but I would definitely have this one on again.

Kate  34:10  

It gives you like this beautiful ache, this is the only way to describe it.

Sarah  34:14  

Sometimes you want to feel happy-sad.

Kate  34:16  

Yeah. Because she found love and she'll find it again. And his story's over. But he loved her enough to guide her through the grieving process.

Sarah  34:25  

And also to stay with her when she was so rude all the time.

Kate  34:27  

Right, she must have been a wildcat in bed. 

Sarah  34:30  

The other thing I found about it is that because of the way it's structured characters appear and are quite significant and then vanish again. So you have that with Daniel who appears and then disappears, then appears and then disappears. Partly because they go to Ireland, but also Chiara, who I liked, and I thought she was fun, but she also seems to be acting in an entirely different movie to everyone else.

Kate  34:50  


Sarah  34:50  

Kind of kooky and like she'd be in some '90s indie comedy or something like that. And because she doesn't go to Ireland, she appears at the beginning and then that's it.

Kate  34:58  

Yeah. And she's cheery too! Like, your brother-in-law just died. Why are you coming in like, "Hi guys!" It's weird! No, this movie shouldn't work. Because if you start to dissect parts, it's like, this is weird, this is dumb. This doesn't work. 

Sarah  35:14  

What I like about it is that the people who love it entirely know that. And I think when movies transcend... they somehow reach greatness accidentally. They don't really follow the rules. 

Kate  35:26  

So I've never put any stock in Rotten Tomatoes because it's all just dorky men shitting on women, movies for women, so I'm always just like "whatever". It never ceases to astound me how much people underestimate the fact that women want to watch movies made for them. The people who make movies are just dumb boys. And now it's all stupid superhero movies and franchises and they take up all the air in the room.

Sarah  35:50  

I think you're right. I mean, I think there's a place for them. But I think they do suck up a lot of air, particularly the really, really big ones. Maybe that'll reset after the pandemic, I don't know. Maybe people will want to watch different things. Everyone was watching Contagion at the beginning of Lockdown.

Kate  36:04  

I know. I mean, I hope so. Because I think that there's a place for PS I Love You or movies like that. I want more. Give me more Dead Husband movies, I love them!

Sarah  36:15  

Do you think he could, now we're at Comfy Gerry stage –

Kate  36:18  

Actually, I think he could do this exact same movie just a little bit less romcom-y and more like character study. He could make Truly, Madly Deeply, is what he could make.

Sarah  36:28  

Yes. If he ever does do those kind of films again. Because now you can see he's going for particular types. You've got that film that he's going to be making about some pilot, something to do with a plane; and there's another one, some big treasure hunt thing in France.

Kate  36:42  

I think he needs that paycheck right now, to be honest if he's doing those types of movies! Gerry wants the money. He's still a draw. 

Sarah  36:50  

Greenland was well reviewed, but his popularity isn't really affected by that. And if you look at London Has Fallen, which is probably the worst and most icky of the three –

Kate  36:59  


Sarah  36:59  

People still went see it.

Kate  37:00  

And let's not forget that there's a huge demographic of people, women like you and I, who will like, "we'll see whatever, because we like him and he's fun to look at". Truly the only movie of his I haven't seen is Chasing Mavericks. I just watched Machine Gun Preacher which was just terrible. 

The thing is if Gerard Butler's in a movie, you know it's gonna be entertaining. Like, you know, it's just like one of those things just like if Christopher Nolan directs a movie, it's gonna be up its own ass. It's just the brand you know?

Sarah  37:25  

If you could be in any Gerard Butler movie starring opposite him, who would you be and what in?

Kate  37:33  

That's a good question. See, I would pick PS I Love You, but I don't think it'd be fun to live because he's dead. You want to go for one of the ones where... Oh, you know which one I'd do? Dear Frankie! So Dear Frankie is the more aching side of PS I Love You and I don't want to give anything away but I would go find him. It's so good. Although Game Of Our Lives is good too, and he's hot in the '50s. He's in the US team. They go to the World Cup and they're in soccer.

Sarah  38:02  

I'm trying to think who I'd... maybe Chasing Mavericks? In fact, in Chasing Mavericks – oh, can I spoil it for you?

Kate  38:08  

Of course, there's no such thing as spoilers for me. 

Sarah  38:09  

Okay, so it's a slight reversal because it's the Dead Wife in Chasing Mavericks. So his wife dies just after he's put a new kitchen in for her as well. And then he's grief-stricken. It's his natural curly hair in that one. Yeah, kind of a reversal. So I'm not sure I want to play the dead person.

Kate  38:25  

I would also do Rocknroller as long as I'm not Thandie Newton. He's so handsome in that. So there's not a love interest but if I'm just in the universe, I'd make him love me.

Sarah  38:33  

Maybe Reign Of Fire and I could be – I've forgotten her name, but the American lady.

Kate  38:36  

You know, Has Fallen, she hasn't died yet. And that movie loves to kill women in that franchise.

Sarah  38:41  

But it's a different actress each time!

Kate  38:42  

I know right? His romcoms are terrible though. This is his best romcom because the Bounty Hunter's terrible, The Ugly Truth is terrible, what else is he in. 

So I'm gonna go with Dear Frankie because it's aching and beautiful but they had a connection. Anybody who has seen Dear Frankie knows how it ends. But I'm confident I could come get him after the movie. So it's okay.

Sarah  39:02  

I would quite like to be in The Vanishing but there wasn't a woman in The Vanishing so they'd have to put me in it. Can you imagine being locked in a lighthouse with him. 

Kate  39:11  

It wouldn't have ended the way it ended if you were there. That one was brutal, though.

Sarah  39:18  

The end of that absolutely devastated me. It was so upsetting. I just wasn't expecting that.

Kate  39:25  

Did you know the story though?

Sarah  39:27  

I do know the story. And I suspect that the real story is probably quite prosaic and boring. They probably just got washed off or something. But yeah, the end of that film, it was just so, it was just so sad and see that's cuddly Gerry again. 

I wouldn't be in the Has Fallen ones because all she really does, his wife, is shout from the pantry about him having his breakfast when he's rushing off to work. Or Greenland would be good to be in.

Kate  39:48  

I don't want to see the end of the world. Okay, Game Of Our Lives or Dear Frankie is my answer. I just scrolled through all of them. A lot of them are grim.

Sarah  39:57  

Gods of Egypt was terrible, but he looked amazing in it.  

Kate  39:58  

Yeah. But you wouldn't want to live in that because that's just like no indoor plumbing. 

Sarah  40:04

They should make a movie about you. You should move to Chicago, and then Gerard Butler is your downstairs neighbour. And first of all you don't get on at all, and then you warm to each other.

Kate  40:15  

Ohhh, call me, Gerry.

Sarah  40:16  

He fixes your plumbing, or something.

Kate  40:17  

Right? Gerry, Gerry. I love him! He really is one of the most attractive men of all time. 

Sarah  40:21  

A lot of movie stars you think, if they hadn't been famous and they just worked in the local betting shop they would just look so average. But he and also Keanu I think would be good looking wherever they were in the world or in life.

Kate  40:34  

Oh yeah. You know, it's funny, all my girlfriends have run into Keanu in LA and I never got to. They love him. They're like, he really is the nicest guy. Nobody's run into Gerard Butler though.

Sarah  40:43  

Well that was great thank you very much for that.

Kate  40:45  

Any time you wanna talk Butler - Twilight, Butler, ghosts - those are the stuff I'm like, "yeah it's 2am, I'll be there, don't worry”.

Sarah  40:52  

Well thank you very much and I'll see you soon.

Kate  40:55  

Thank you Sarah, this was nice! 


Transcribed by (and Sarah!)