It’s not just the big blockbusters that get multiple posters. Here, for example, is the domestic poster and the one used in France for P.S. I Love You.
The domestic version (which was also used in several other countries, by the way) goes with a very sweet image of Butler and Swank together. That combined with the title makes for a poster so saccharine it might actually give you a cavity just from looking at it.
And yet, I sort of like it. It’s a very straight sell that sets up the film as being just through and through romance.
The French poster, on the other hand, goes with a much more bittersweet image. The sunset, Swank sitting alone in bench, the notes her dead husband left her flowing in the wind… there is a lot of sadness to be found in here. There are still some romantic elements in there, but this poster seems much more aware of the fact that the story involves the character of Butler dying in the beginning of the film. And it sets the film as a possibly heartbreaking experience.
Now, the French poster is much more appealing to me, but I also admire the complete lack of cynicism in the domestic version. In the end think they are both good posters that try to sell the movie in two very different fashions.
(Thanks to reader Casty The Clown for the French poster)