Under The Tuscan Sun (12)

Written by Frances Mayes, directed by Audrey Wells
ODEON - from 26th March

Reviewed by Lesley Fraser

Diane Lane plays a heart broken divorcee (Frances) seeking a second chance at happiness in this romantic comedy set in a charming rustic Italian village.

Her best friend Patti (Sandra Oh) convinces Frances to take a well deserved break in Tuscany, during which she buys a Tuscan villa on impulse, moves in and begins restoring it. Gradually she becomes a part of the village community but soon realises that throwing herself into renovating the villa is not going to heal her broken heart. A romantic encounter in Rome and meeting a variety of friendly Italian characters encourages her to believe there is a second chance at love out there, waiting patiently for her.

This is, dare I say it a bit of a girlie movie. All the right clichés are there, being dumped, depression and just when a life of misery and celibacy seems inevitable, up comes the sun, Italian men and the perfect antidote -home improvement!
This film is exactly what it says it is – a romantic comedy set in what Hollywood perceives to be the idyllic Tuscan country side that encourages us all to believe that there is a second chance at life for everyone. Admittedly I was cringing through most of the film, but if it’s a funny, happy, sunny romantic journey you’re seeking go and see Under the Tuscan sun.