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Under the Tuscan Sun

Starring: Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, and Raoul Bova
Directed by: Audrey Wells
Rated: PG-13



Under the Tuscan Sun is a silly syrupy so-so mess. This is a bonfide grade B chick-flick to be sure…accept it's a chick-flick with the Mary-Tyler Moore style gal of yesteryear. What a shame...It's based upon Frances Mayes' book of memoirs of the same name. But I'll bet (since I have not read it) the book is far more intimate and heartfelt.

Story goes…Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) has a particularly rough divorce. She falls apart emotionally and burrows away in her self-loathing and depression. Then, thanks to her friends, Fran glavants off to Tuscany…

There she finds a little bit of paradise in the form of a decrepit old casa. The house is very much like herself - in need of a rebirth from despair.

As her house shapes into a beautiful happy shell - so too does she. Metaphor 101. She regains her self esteem, has an affair with an Italian fellow, makes friends, and generally starts to live again...

Two hours later she's complete again as we've all had a pleasant enough journey to the plot as we watched beautiful scenery and oh-so-see-it-coming events unfold before us. But, sadly, not even the godlike mansteak Italian stud "Frances" briefly beds, Marcello (Raoul Bova), could keep your interest in the film.

Diane Lane does her best. She has a wonderfully descriptive face and holds what good there is in the film entirely upon her little shoulders. Diane's performance is spectacular. She's no dummy - the script may be a tad telegraphed but 1. she is the lead -- and commands the role 2. she gets two (count 'em two) studly dorights that are at least ten years younger then her hunting the clam! A Hollywood role reversal extraordinaire! Bravo bella!

Meanwhile this bottle of man herion Raoul Bova looks like he shares the same delicious DNA with Clive Owens - but with an infusion of Italian marinara. Raoulio has that dreamy scrumptoid mile-wide smile resting upon a classically carved façade that makes any man-appreciating gal sail away into the never-never land of lust filled landscapes... purr.

The biggo problemo is UTS lacks honesty and faith in the girly girl structure. Less forced happenings and more drama would have boosted the story into a fine film…as it is now? Under the Tuscan Sun is nothing more then a rental for a "girl's night" filled with sordid dating tales, man-bashing and alcohol dolloped comradery.

Snack recommendation: Pears in Cognac and expensive champagne

The soundtrack by Christophe Beck is gorgeous - See review here->



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