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Under the Tuscan Sun Movie

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Summary:
Frances Mayes (Diane Lane), a 35-year-old San Francisco writer, perfect life has just taken an unexpected detour. Her recent divorce has left her with terminal writer's block, extremely depressed, and in a divorcee housing complex. Her pregnant friend, Patti, is beginning to think that she might never recover. Dr. Patti's prescription: 10 days in Tuscany. It's there, on a whim, that Frances purchases a villa named Bramasole--literally, something which yearns for the sun. The home needs much restoration, but what better place for a new beginning than the home of the Renaissance? As she flings herself into her new life at the villa in the lush Italian countryside, Frances makes new friends among her neighbors; but in the quiet moments, she is fearful that her ambitions for her new life--and new family--may not be realized, until a chance encounter in Rome throws Frances into the arms of an intriguing Portobello antiques dealer named Marcello. Even as she stumbles forward on her uncertain journey, one thing becomes clear: in life, there are second chances.

Review:
There are many ways to take a look at this movie. Most movie studios go after soccer moms, under 25 crowd, or the NASCAR dads. Obviously this is a soccer mom movie. Not to say every NASCAR dad and every youngster under 25 won't like this movie, but there will be other options more suited to these demographics. As for soccer moms they will be delighted to see Diane Lane perfectly portray the average middle-aged woman in the United States. The only complaint I have is that the beginning of the film unfolds so quickly and the non-confrontational viewpoint taken by the director. A divorce is a pretty hard predicament in any persons life, but the director just seems to move on to the next scene without conveying any emotion whatsoever. Although Diane Lane doesn't confront her ex-husband, she does take the risks every woman wants to take but rarely does by purchasing a villa in Tuscany, Italy while on a gay tour (friends are lesbians). Then what else, she casually (the way most people want to meet other members of the opposite sex) meets an attractive local in the streets of Tuscany.

Since this movie is inspired by a book which was inspired by the real-life events of the author, it gives the premise a little more depth and excitement. If you went into the movie not realizing this particular fun fact, then the movie gets bogged down in the middle due scene after scene of loneliness. When you read a book about a real-life occurrence you get enveloped in the emotions of the characters as the story unfolds. It's like you are living out the story right beside the protagonist (at least this is what you are suppose to feel if the writer is any good). Usually when movies place emphasis on this fact you usually enter that mindset as well. But, if you don't enter this mindset then the movie drags on and on because there are no Hollywood embellishments. But, all is not lost since the cinematography is top notch and every scene is so well executed. 

Audrey Wells did a good job at conveying the emotions of the book through simple but surprisingly beautiful scenes (Marcello and Frances walking on the beach, woman dancing in fountain, etc). For the most part you feel that you are living out the trials and tribulations of Tuscany right beside Diane Lane, but with an underlying excitement of being whisked away to a new land. Another nice thing about the movie is the build up of emotions. In the beginning most of the emotions by the characters are negative and weakly conveyed, but near the end of the film the emotions transform into ones of a positive nature and are conveyed through beautiful scenes such as the problematic water facet overflowing with water. 

Overall the movie is filled with many beautiful scenes with little Hollywood embellishments along the way. It's really a solid change of pace from most of the films released this year and should find its way into the hearts of many soccer moms nationwide.

See this movie if you're a fan of:

Whale Rider (2003)

Diane Lane (Actress, Unfaithful, Murder at 1600, The Perfect Storm)

Frances Mayes (Author, Under the Tuscan Sun)

French Kiss (1995)

Traveling around the world and absorbing different cultures

star star half star

Box Office Info:

Cast:
Diane Lane (as Frances Mayes)
Raoul Bova (as Marcello)
Sandra Oh (as Patti)
Vincent Riotta (as Mr. Martini (as Vincenzo Ricotta))
Dan Bucatinsky (as Rodney)

Directed By: Audrey Wells
Written By: Frances Mayes & Audrey Wells
Produced By: Touchstone Pictures

Release Date (US): September 26, 2003

Length of Movie: 1h 55min

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.

Filming Locations: Tuscany (Italy), Rome (Italy), San Francisco (CA)

Budget: $

Opening Weekend: $9,406,000

Under the Tuscan Sun Soundtrack

Under the Tuscan Sun Soundtrack
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