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Overall Rating
2.29

Awesome: 3.45%
Worth A Look: 27.59%
Just Average: 9.2%
Pretty Crappy: 13.79%
Sucks45.98%

7 reviews, 45 user ratings


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Under the Tuscan Sun
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by EricDSnider

"Tuscany sure is pretty."
3 stars

The star of "Under the Tuscan Sun" is the breathtaking Italian scenery. Photographed by respected cinematographer Geoffrey Simpson ("Oscar and Lucinda," "Shine"), the colorful vistas and countrysides are truly gorgeous to behold.

I am somewhat less enthusiastic about the rest of the film, as it seems mired in chick-flick simplicity and what I like to call checklist storytelling. Problems great and small are established, and then they are conquered one by one, in a neat, orderly fashion. The old man who won't wave back to the protagonist when she greets him each morning will surely do so by film's end; the spigot that seems incapable of producing water will gush forth mightily; and all the things our heroine hoped and dreamed for herself and her life in Italy will come to pass, all there under the dazzling Tuscan sun.

Our heroine is Frances Mayes (Diane Lane), a San Francisco writer overwhelmed by her recent divorce and unable to determine what to do next. Her friends give her a 10-tour of Tuscany as a get-away-from-it-all gift, and while on the trip, she impulsively buys an old house called Bramasole. The kindly real estate agent, Martini (Vincenzo Ricotta), helps her find a hard-working crew of Polish immigrants to assist in fixing up the place, and she goes about establishing a life for herself in a country that truly celebrates life.

Directed by Audrey Wells and adapted (and fictionalized) by her from the real Frances Mayes' memoirs, the film wisely realizes its second-best attribute is Diane Lane, an actress of incomparable charm and likability. Her version of the character is strong but vulnerable, devastated by the divorce and the fear that she will not find love again.

The film wavers, unwisely, on the issue of whether she needs a man to feel fulfilled. For a while, the point seems to be that she can be self-sufficient -- a rather unusual and laudable philosophy for a chick flick -- but events near the end of the film belie that notion and return to far more familiar, romantic territory.

It is also true that charm can only take you so far. Lane's lovely performance aside, the film dallies, taking far too long to get where it's going, and where it's going isn't all that interesting anyway. If it were a half-hour shorter -- and thus better-focused, story-wise -- I would recommend it. As it stands, I have some beautiful mental snapshots of the scenery and the locals, but I can't imagine taking the trip again.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8160&reviewer=247
originally posted: 09/27/03 00:21:34
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User Comments

7/26/12 vicki swanson i was bitterly let down by it - a lot of hype that didnt deliver 2 stars
12/04/11 Pamela White Great chick flick with depth if only you look for it. 4 stars
4/04/10 RATING REVIEWER, NOT FILM The writer of this review has the wit and writing skills of a soggy shoe. 1 stars
7/17/09 Moose Unadulterated trash 1 stars
6/19/08 PAUL SHORTT THIN, LIGHTWEIGHT AND INSTANTLY DISPOSABLE 1 stars
10/21/07 cecile Perreault Very good movie Look at it 15 TimesCanada 4 stars
9/11/07 wendy absolutely loved the movie 5 stars
9/30/05 Ric Vans What Groenewegen said. Not total crap because Diane Lane is insanely hot. 2 stars
7/25/05 JOHN FLEMING Loved this movie. Predictable but satisfying. Sandra Oh was great. 4 stars
2/06/05 kumar being picture postcard is not a quality for a film, jeff anderson. sheeesh! 1 stars
1/31/05 Jeff Anderson A great looking, picture postcard of a film! DIANE LANE IS ONCE AGAIN A SEXY MARVEL & HOT!! 5 stars
11/30/04 Me Cute movie 4 stars
8/23/04 Juanita fuck under the tuscan sun 1 stars
5/23/04 Butterbean Tuscany looks refreshing. I like watching her renovating the house. Subplots were so-so. 4 stars
3/26/04 John Wayne Judging from the consensus here, it evidently takes much more life lived to laud this. 4 stars
3/25/04 bruce miller chick flick...I dont think so 4 stars
3/21/04 Claudette agree with your review 100% 1 stars
3/16/04 Chris I thought the whole movie was underpar. Lane was Ok but not great, it looked good though. 2 stars
3/15/04 Atanu God awful 1 stars
3/06/04 Jaco Visser Beautiful cinematography and scenery! Strong casting. Nice. 4 stars
3/01/04 Wendranh too long..action doesn't keep up 3 stars
2/24/04 Ben Cloutier Continuity doesn't matter when you have pretty pictures to make the viewers forget about it 1 stars
2/11/04 jj It's an interesting "life after divorce" type movie but nothing more. 3 stars
2/11/04 Marian Moore The worst film I've ever seen 1 stars
1/20/04 Betty White Gorgeous, but also laughless romantic comedy; Lane is appealing, but just not very funny. 2 stars
1/18/04 Deanna The book is a travelogue/cookbook, get it instead. 1 stars
1/09/04 Valerie Cameron Gruckin' foovy! A bitter divorcee buys a house because a pigeon shits on her! 2 stars
1/05/04 Wordfreak Great book, the movie...not about the book! This sucked! 1 stars
12/30/03 The Orca her other movies are better...this was not worth a tenth of the $3 I paid 1 stars
11/07/03 lou Well worth seeing. 4 stars
11/06/03 Cameron Slick Diane Lane and Tuscany are beautiful in this entertaining flick. 4 stars
10/27/03 Watcher of Shitty Movies The fluffiest piece of fluff that ever fluffed. 1 stars
10/26/03 marge Loved the scenery...want to go to Itlay...oddish plot 4 stars
10/26/03 john i love it to the max, wonderful scenery and romance..many uptight witches rating this 5 stars
10/25/03 Daniel Enjoyed the movie especially the scenery 4 stars
10/23/03 AAARRRGGHH Could I please have a towel for the estrogen I am drenched with? 1 stars
10/20/03 John Watching that period would be more entertaining than this. 1 stars
10/16/03 Stephanie McBrayer This movie was so bad! PLEASE read the book - - it's amazing! 1 stars
10/15/03 Popcorn Hunny If you have your period, it's raining outside, and you're bored, then this movie is for you 2 stars
10/13/03 Alice Whooeee it stinks. even braindead chicks should find it intolerable. 1 stars
10/11/03 Chrys It generated some damn good bitchy comments, thats something :) 1 stars
10/06/03 Johnny Hollywood crapfest with artificial situations resulting in everyone happy in the end. 1 stars
9/30/03 lycan nothing to see here folks, move along 1 stars
9/30/03 nutterbuts this movie is on some divine ya-ya pms bullshite, tuscans never liked ugly chicks anyways 1 stars
9/27/03 Kim Dowell An overacted pratfall and melodramatic facial gestures mess. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Sep-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Feb-2004


Directed by
  Audrey Wells

Written by
  Audrey Wells

Cast
  Diane Lane
  Raoul Bova
  Sandra Oh
  Vincent Riotta
  Dan Bucatisnky
  Lindsay Duncan



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