A farce that kinda looks like a period piece is the best way to describe Casanova. Due to the moral rigidness of certain parts of society which led to scandals aplenty during the 18th century in Italy, it provides plenty of opportunity for chaos and humour. The legend of Casanova, the infamous lover of scandalous amounts of women, is examined in this Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat, Something to Talk About) piece. Hallstrom has used the beautiful backdrop of Venice and some delightful sets and costumes in order to bring some integrity to this crazy film. There is not really a serious moment throughout the film and that is alright by me. The film pretends to be nothing other than a light farce and it delivers. Someone else who delivers is Oliver Platt. This guy is truly funny! He plays a ridiculously naïve character and is a scream. You have to take Casanova with a rather large teaspoon of sugar. This is not a Merchant/Ivory period piece this is a much fun as is possible in tights, corsets and powdered wigs. There is much food, opera music, gondola riding, and fireworks in this film which is an altogether enjoyable way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Casanova (Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot) loves and has loved all – or almost all – women. He seduces women only because he is waiting for his 'true' love to show her face and for his mother (Helen McCrory – Interview with the Vampire, The Count of Monte Cristo), who left him as a child, to come back. His amorous ardor has gotten him into trouble a time or two. He has been protected by the Prince of Vienna, but he is warned to marry a virgin in order to escape a hanging. Casanova quickly becomes engaged to the beyond reproach, Victoria (Natalie Dormer – first film). Unbeknownst to everyone, Victoria is the object of affection of the incredibly shy Giovanni Bruni (Charlie Cox – The Merchant of Venice). Oddly enough Casanova finds himself smitten with ardent feminist Francesca Bruni (Sienna Miller – Alfie) and goes to great lengths (even buys her a pig) to win her affections. Francesca thinks that Casanova is a complete misogynist and will have nothing to do with him. Unfortunately for Casanova, Francesca is already engaged, against her own will, to the very wealthy Paprizzio (Oliver Platt – Kinsey, Pieces of April) from Genoa. In order to gain Francesca's trust and elude the pursuit of Bishop Pucci (Jeremy Irons – Kingdom of Heaven, Being Julia), Casanova and his faithful servant Lupo (Omid Djalili – Over the Hedge, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) trick the real Paprizzio into staying at Casanova's until he is 'presentable' and Casanova passes himself off as Paprizzio to Francesca, her mother Andrea (Lena Olin – Mr. Jones, Romeo is Bleeding) and even Pucci. Much chaos, mistaken identity, hot air balloon riding, and humour ensues.
-"Creating an Adventure" – The making of Casanova
-"Dressing in Style" – Designing costumes from the 18th century fashion capital of Europe
-Extended sequence: "Hidden in Plain Sight"
-"Visions of Venice" – Recreating the world's most enchanting city in the 18th century
-Sneak peeks of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Annapolis, Shopgirl, Goal!: The Dream Begins, An Unfinished Life, Shadows in the Sun: Everything You Want, TV on DVD, Soap net, and Grey's Anatomy