Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Under the Tuscan SunWhat starts out as an Italian "Money Pit" with all the attendant broken pipes, crumbling walls and incompetent handymen makes a turn for the better about a third of the way through: a more emotionally centered and revealing movie,"Under the Tuscan Sun."

The luminescent Diane Lane stars as Frances, an intelligent, loving women with close and committed friends who finds herself in a situation that many people do: with a mate who has fallen out of love, wants a divorce as well as possession of a much loved and painstakingly renovated house, this one in San Francisco. After the divorce Frances goes to Tuscany on a lark, falls in love with a villa there, buys it and proceeds to renovate it. The villa then is the physical manifestation of the shedding of her old life and marriage and the hope for the renovation and rehabilitation of her love life as well as her life in general.

That she probably places too much faith in the physical to solve the emotional does not detract at all from the guts and hope that it takes to do so. And Lane is so psychically centered and open as Frances that you cannot help but be moved by her situation.

There are some silly plot lines and performances that I wish weren't, but with a central performance as attractive and genuinely loving and feminine as Lane's, "Under The Tuscan Sun" is as warm and inviting as bread just out of the oven.

I am peturbed that Amazon would spotlight two bad reviews. This was an awesome movie that kept me watching it from beginning to end. I haven't read the book, but after watching that movie, I do intend to. It's amazing how uplifting this spirited movie was. Diane Lane was supurb without coming across as trying too much. We never get to see her husband "Tom" who screwed her over royally in the divorce, which I think was a good decision. The movie stays in the present looking ahead to the future with a sense of hope and promise. Pick up this movie for an excellent movie night even if you're not a chick!

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We'll I'm not usually one to go to see comedy-romance films but my girlfriend insisted and I was persuaded by the fact that Diane Lane (one of my favorite actresses) was starring in it. Honestly, this is a very good movie. It is one of the best surprises of the year. The film is edited in a way that never makes it seem boring or long-winded and the film is very (I mean very) entertaining, with some great dialog and some excellent comedy and well-timed laughs. A few times I was uncontrollably laughing it was so funny. The acting was amazing with Diane Lane giving one of her best performances in the lead role as Frances Mayes. The film looked great and had an excellent soundtrack as well. I recommend this film very much indeed, even to guys because it isn't cliched and slushy in the same way other romantic films are. It sure makes a great date movie Under The Tuscan Sun is a marvel!

Read Best Reviews of Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) Here

This film was a very pleasant surprise. I picked it out as a movie for my girlfriend and I to watch, since I had heard good things about it several years ago. This IS a chick-flick type of movie, but it definitely does not follow the same VERY tired romantic-comedy formula script that Hollywood loves to crank out. Yes, I suppose Under The Tuscan Sun is a romantic comedy, but it is a GOOD one, and it is fairly original in its approach.

First, I should say the beautiful Diane Lane is a really great actress, and plays her part perfectly here. You truly believe in her character, which really adds to the believability of the film (suspension of disbelief is important to enjoying a movie). Most of the supporting cast does an excellent job as well (with the slight exception of "Stone Face" Sandra Oh, her face always seems devoid of emotion to me). Probably the most important member of the supporting cast is the SCENERY. The landscapes showcased in this movie are gorgeous and pretty astonishing. The excellent cinematography takes full advantage of the beautiful scenery Italy provides, and the movie is all the better for it.

While the film is not outright original per se, it does take a rather fresh approach to romantic comedy, and you won't be able to predict what is going to happen far in advance (when's the last time you could say that about a romantic comedy??). The script is very good, with quite a few laughs and excellent pacing, and the dialogue is sharp. All in all, a VERY GOOD movie that both men and women can enjoy.

A couple of other things: apparently, the film radically departs from the novel. I didn't read the book (and have no intention of doing so). You won't need to read the book to enjoy this movie. Also, I read a few gripes about Diane Lane not being 'beautiful' because she is 'old'. A matter of opinion I guess, but to me she looks fantastic in this movie at 38... and she really IS a great actress.

Under The Tuscan Sun is RECOMMENDED for anyone looking for a 'couples' movie that both will enjoy (but Macho He-Men shouldn't bother, you only like Rambo type movies).

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I actually spent a year studying at a small italian university, fell in love with the country, and expected to HATE this movie because I really got sick of the American presence in italy. I have to admit, though, arguing with some of the previous reviews that I saw, that despite all of the stereotypes, they were mostly true! Certainly true to my experience. Italians are proud of who and how they are and although I didn't meet a single person who spoke english as well as anyone in this film, that was the only stretch as far as I could tell. Its an absolute pleasure to watch, especially for anyone who has been to Italy. And Diane Lane is adorable and full of life, almost inspirational.

See this film if you want to escape to Italy for 2 hours and be a single, liberated, middle-aged woman going on an adventure. That's really what it is good for transporting us americans away from our own "culture" and into a place that has a real sense of history and people.

Cheesy but delicious.

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