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Review: Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Directed by: Audrey Wells | 113 minutes | drama, comedy, romance | Actors: Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan, Raoul Bova, Vincent Riotta, Mario Monicelli, Roberto Nobile, Anita Zagaria, Evelina Gori, Giulia Steigerwalt, Pawel Szajda, Valentine Pelka, Sasa Vulicevic, Massimo Sarchielli, Claudia Gerini

Based on a book, ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ has become a real film for adults who know well what the concept of suffering entails. The message conveyed by this film is that love is unfathomable, it makes people sad and leaves deep marks. This is also the case with Frances (Diane Lane), the recently divorced writer and book critic. When it turns out that her ex-husband also has his eye on their house, where he wants to live with his new pregnant wife, she no longer sees it all. Fortunately there is her pregnant, lesbian, understanding friend Patti who planned a gay trip to Italy with her friend. Due to her pregnancy, this trip is canceled and the lesbian couple has offered the trip to Frances,

Frances is enjoying herself and even seems to have forgotten her pain for a while. By coincidence she stumbles upon a beautiful villa for sale and, acting on impulse, she decides to buy the villa. Only then does the story begin. Through a voice-over we get to know Frances better and it soon becomes clear that her life is only complete when she meets the true Jacob. Despite slowly integrating into Italian society with all its idiosyncrasies, she is very lonely at times. There is a lot of love around her, the Polish handyman Jarek and the local beauty Chiara are madly in love and Signore Martini who has a beautiful family. Frances also bumps into someone, the Italian Marcello. She falls madly in love with him in a well-known, feminine way, but it remains to be seen whether he turns out to be the one.

Tuscany is a therapy for Frances. She has clearly suffered a major divorce trauma and is now struggling to find love again. In their own words, that is the only way to become happy again. What she does not realize is that other people in her environment are very happy, partly thanks to her. She can’t make herself happy right away, but others can, which will eventually make her feel better. Your own happiness will then come naturally. It is a tough process, which involves trial and error and that is one of the themes that this film propagates. Frances is excellently played by the beautiful Diane Lane. She plays her role with great enthusiasm and conviction. The strength of ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ is not only the good playing of Diane Lane, but also the atmosphere that the film evokes. Despite the heavy theme, there is plenty to laugh about and the film never gets gloomy. Add to that the beautiful pictures of the Tuscan countryside and picturesque villages and you have a film that is more than worth seeing. Love is suffering, but when it is portrayed as beautifully as in ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ it is worth a broken heart.

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