A response to Sheila Benson's Dec. 22 review of "Always":
In what has to be the darkest slate of holiday movies ever, Benson ironically implies that hell may be realized by seeing the movie "Always."
I too gaze in horror at Oliver Stone's nightmare vision of Vietnam, and the Holocaust is something that should never be forgotten, but I also mourn the certain death of sentimentality and heart in today's movies.
When critics consider the only serious directors to be those who bludgeon us with the pain and torture of man's inhumanity to man, then those who choose to show life as a more uplifting and joyous experience become a rare and endangered species.
As with most movies, "Always" is not perfect, but it tries very hard and succeeds where it counts most. It tells a positive and entertaining story, one that doesn't make us feel guilty to be part of the human race.
FRANK CAPPELLO, Van Nuys