After seeing the trailer in theatres, I knew that I would not be going to see Under the Tuscan Sun. The life-affirming, light dramedy starring Diane Lane as a recently divorced writer just didn't seem like my plate of pasta. Now that it was being released on DVD, I would be given a second opportunity to catch this chick flick for the older crowd. Though I popped the disc into my DVD player with slight preconceptions, I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging Wells' second cinematic effort was. The film tells the story of the down and out Frances Mayes (Lane) who travels to Tuscany in an attempt to escape from her crumbling life back home. While traveling through Italy with a gay tour group, Frances impulsively decides to buy an unkempt villa which she plans to restore-an obvious metaphor for the woman's own life. When it comes to visuals, the film's locations are as rich as they could get. Wells' picture-perfect portrayal of Tuscany is an undeniably romanticized vision and she successfully gets away with this due to her careful avoidance of all other romantic comedy clichés. As she attempts to restructure her life, Frances comes across countless Italian stallions though we are often reminded that Sun isn't about the girl getting the guy, but about the girl finding herself. Actress Sandra Oh takes a break from low-profile Canadian cinema to add some extra flavor to the film as the writer's best friend, a pregnant lesbian named Patti. After assuring audiences that popcorn film heroines can have depth, Lane received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the movie. Carrying the flick with her astonishingly wide range, ultimately Under the Tuscan Sun proved to be hotter than I could have ever imagined.
Once you are finished soaking in all that the film has to offer, travel on
over to the bonus features section. Extras include:
-An Insightful audio commentary by writer/director Audrey Wells
-Three short but fun deleted scenes
-Tuscany 101- a brief making of featurette which includes interviews with the cast and crew members