Chick flick ick. Who should be more insulted by "P.S. I Love You": Women, who are portrayed as shrill, materialistic harpies who fall down regularly? Or men, who are shown to be at their most romantically attractive when they're dead?

Guys and gals, let's put aside our differences for once, join hands, and hate this movie.

Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank star as Gerry and Holly, a Manhattan couple with nothing in common beyond their ferociously toned bodies. When they grapple in a pre-credits lovemaking scene, it looks like a Greco-Roman grope censored from "300." She's a shrill shoe fetishist who wants a bigger apartment, a better job, babies, and everything else on an ambitious 29-year-old's to-do list, and wants them right now. Gerry's a happy-go-lucky Irishman who is willing to take a hurled Jimmy Choo to the face if it will get Holly off the warpath.

Before you can say "wake," we're at Gerry's, while Holly descends into a period of mourning marked by comic drunkenness and bad hair. Her mom (Kathy Bates), her best friend (Lisa Kudrow) and a friendly bartender (Harry Connick Jr.) try to rouse her from her funk. But nothing works until Holly begins receiving posthumous letters from Gerry instructing her to go on a prearranged series of life-affirming adventures, each note signed, "P.S. I love you."

If that didn't trigger your gag reflex, you might survive the manufactured romantic zaniness that ensues. With the love letters of Lazarus charting her path, Holly sings karaoke (and falls down). She heads to Ireland, where Gerry substitutes are thicker than the foam on a pint of Guinness (and falls down). She revisits Gerry in memories and fantasies, and grows impatient when her friends move ahead with their lives as she waits for another message from a dead man.

Swank displays her remarkable teeth and the story clatters to a manipulative "feel good" ending. The sensation of having their sympathies bludgeoned with a sledgehammer will send many viewers away feeling anything but.

Colin Covert • 612-673-7186