Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is a 40-yearold malcontent who walked away from a recording contract and potential fame and fortune with his band, Magic Marker. He gave up everything to become a carpenter – a useful trade to smooth out the rough edges of Stiller’s wooden performance. Roger moves temporarily to Los Angeles to house-sit for his brother Phillip (Chris Messina) and keep an eye on the family dog, a gorgeous German Shepherd named Mahler. Phillip’s personal assistant, who is still raw from a recent break-up, pops in every day to run errands and tend to the mutt. She is strangely drawn to Roger and the pair begin an off-on-off-on-off romance that does both of them more emotional damage than good.
Writer Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is poised to marry chef Victor (Gale Garcia Bernal). They embark on a trip to Italy. She visits Juliet’s famous balcony and is surprised to see dozens of tourists penning letters to the ill-fated Capulet. A group of women known as the secretaries of Juliet collect the missives and reply to these love-sick strangers. Sophie offers to help and stumbles upon a long-lost note which demands her words of wisdom. The American is shocked when a snooty man arrives in Verona to berate the secretaries for encouraging his grandmother to seek out her soul mate from all those years ago.