I had expectations of seeing a nominal quality love story going in. I was pleasantly surprised that this film was a noticeable cut above the average. I enjoyed it a great deal; and judging from the audience, so did everyone else.
A long time ago I realized that the way the best love stories work is to make the audience wish they could be the character on the screen. This movie does this in spades.
The major weight of carrying the film rested squarely on the shoulders of Amanda Seyfried. Other than being very lovely shoulders, she did an excellent job of portraying her character. She has a great range of endearing expressions. I've seen her in a couple of other films that I enjoyed her in, but none better than this; even considering the broader production values of "Mama Mia". She was radiantly beautiful and added just the right note of intelligence, warmth and charm. In one scene where her character described her excellent education, it didn't seem ludicrous coming from her as it has in the past from other actors. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her - and not just because of her radiant beauty either.
The rest of the cast did an admirable job as well. Gael García Bernal did well in his role of Seyfried's distracted workaholic fiancé. Later in the film, the arrival of Christopher Egan as counterpoint to Bernal was handled with better than average skill by Egan. His grandmother, played with subtlety by Vanessa Redgrave, was the focus of the story and has never seemed more sensitive and caring. But hey, fellas, whoever was wrangling the script (Rivera/Sullivan), she wasn't believable saying she was 65 when she's 73. But that was the only off note to me. Finally, Oliver Platt added an enjoyable aside as Seyfried's boss.
Finally, the rest of the productions elements, sets, costumes, locations, etc are all right on the money for the theme and feel of the film; nothing out of place of awkward looking. Excellent entertainment all around.