Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)

AUDREY WELLS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA/Italy, 2003.  , Timnick Films, Blue Gardenia Productions, Tatiale Films.  Story and Screenplay by Audrey Wells, based on the book Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , , .  Golden Globe Awards 2003.  

After barely surviving a nasty and devastating divorce, a literary critic (Diane Lane) goes on an Italian vacation on the suggestion of her best friend () and ends up falling in love with the Tuscan countryside. Despite its being a risky idea, Lane purchases a rundown villa and decides to make the three hundred year-old house into a home. The rest is pretty predictable: she rediscovers life, has a fling with a gorgeous hunk (), and finds a makeshift family of friends and lovers alike. Somehow, despite its Oprah Book Club trappings, this film is charming and easy to take even when you are most aware of its cliches. This is mostly attributed to director Audrey Wells’ punchy script, which features snappy dialogue and emotional situations that aren’t manipulative. The rest of the credit goes to the luminous Lane, whose incredible beauty and whimsical performance root the character in reality, especially when she finds herself in situations that are just too good to be true and reacts with her rich, affecting laugh.

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