After the untimely death of her husband, a woman begins to receive letters and messages from him, encouraging her to live the rest of her life to the fullest. Holly and Gerry have a very hot-and-cold relationship-- they bicker often, usually about how Holly is forced to be the responsible one in the relationship while Gerry is a carefree and goofy musician. However, she comes to regret every argument they ever had when he dies suddenly from a tumor in his brain. Holly pulls away from basically all contact with society, mourning Gerry's loss, when on her 30th birthday, she gets a cake and a message, inexplicably, from Gerry. Gerry had apparently arranged for messages to be delivered to her after his death, messages encouraging her to embrace life and to find a new direction. These messages eventually take her on a trip with her friends to Ireland, his native country. There, things go very well, and they have a great time-- Holly even meets a hunky Irish singer named William who reminds the girls of Gerry. During a fishing trip which goes horribly and comically awry when they lose their oars, Holly discovers one of her friends is engaged and the other is expecting a child. These revelations cause Holly to feel even more alone in the absence of Gerry. That night, Holly finds solace in the arms of William, and is briefly disturbed when she finds out that William was Gerry's best friend during his days in Ireland. However, William is able to tell Holly some comforting stories about Gerry's days before they met. She gets home to New York after her trip, and eventually pulls herself out of her own funk by chasing her dream of becoming a shoe designer. She works hard, starts taking classes, and builds her own esteem up, which makes her a better friend and a happier person. She finds out at the end her mother was the one sending her the letter on Gerry's behalf, and after one last letter, we see Holly and her mother, heading out into the world, with Holly having found a new lease on life.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's unmistakably sappy, and there are a few coincidences that are pretty mind-boggling, but it's hard to deny that the sentiment generally works albeit in an over-the-top fashion.
Best scene in story:
When Holly and her friends are on the lake, it goes from comedy to drama very quickly and effectively-- the movie is rarely better than when we see her and her friends interacting.
Opinion about the main character:
Holly is mopey and unable to move on in her life, but quite frankly, it's understandable given her situation, and I sympathized with her problems immensely.