Under the Tuscan Sun: a film for those without a romantic partner on Valentines Day

Don’t have a romantic partner pink and lavender heart cascadeto share Stupid Cupid Day?
Then this is the movie for you. It could be sub-titled: be careful what you wish for… The film begins with an unexpected and painful divorce by a cheating spouse that leaves Frances, writer, critic, and literature professor, literally flat on the floor. When she is offered a free vacation tour of Tuscany with a gay couples group she accepts, and no, she’s not gay. While there, she sees and impulsively buys a centuries-old, decaying Tuscan villa. As cleaning, repairs, and renovations begin, Frances expresses her life’s desires: a wedding, a family, and someone to cook for (she’s an amazing cook, the damn movie makes me hungry every time I watch it). Her wishes are all
fulfilled but in unexpected and unforeseen ways. That’s what makes the story so fabulous. The only thing that would make it even better is if she didn’t end up at the very end, also finding romance. Hollywood strikes again, trying to give the story a “happy ending”. Didn’t they realize, Frances had already found her happiness, her romantic partner was just icing on an already tasty, and enormously satisfying cake.

Diane Lane is terrific as Frances and so is Sandra Oh, as her gay, pregnant, and recently-dumped best friend. In fact the entire cast is terrific including Lindsay Duncan, Italian stud-muffins cannoli’s Vincent Riotta and Raoul Bova, and damn he’s cute, Pawel Szajda. 2003, rated PG-13, 113 minutes.

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