Under the Tuscan Sun

(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

      Ok, this is definitely a chick flick but you already know that if you've seen the trailer.    In her last movie, Unfaithful, Diane Lane had an affair and ruined her marriage.  In Under the Tuscan Sun, it is her husband who strays, leading to a divorce. This all happens in the first 5 minutes of the movie, leaving Lane depressed, and living in a skanky furnished apartment.  Her best friend (Sandra Oh) and her partner were scheduled to go on a gay tour of Italy but have to cancel because Oh is pregnant.  So they give the ticket to Lane. Soon, Lane is on a bus in Italy with a lot of guys with good fashion sense.  She falls in love with a rundown villa and decides to buy it.  Lots of romantic incidents follow. 

    Under the Tuscan Sun is a cute little film. It isn't rocket science.  The story, taken and much changed from the book of the same name, is fairly predictable but not boring.  And Diane Lane is so good as the beautiful but depressed divorcee that this movie is very enjoyable.  She is joined by Sandra Oh, who does a great job as the friend.  Oh is not seen enough but she can really steal a scene when she gets the chance. She has been toiling in obscurity on the HBO show, Arli$$, for many years. In addition, there are lots of entertaining Italian supporting players as well as some Polish guys playing workers hired to renovate her villa. In particular, Vincent Riotta as Lane's Real Estate agent and friend is very good.

    Anyway, this film is almost out of the theatres now. But it's worth the rental, if only to see the beautiful Tuscan countryside and its famous light. There are lots of entertaining moments and I liked it a lot until the final inevitable happy ending which doesn't fit in at all with the rest of the film. I am Mr. Chick Flick but since Under the Tuscan Sun stars Diane Lane, it's not too painful for the average male viewer. Besides, the real star of this movie is Tuscany.  After seeing it, I was ready to move to Italy, buy a villa and settle down, hopefully with Diane Lane.  Maybe I should join a gay tour of Italy.