Bask in the sun

Every year more films are added to the dusty shelf of interchangeable, sappy chick-flicks. Under the Tuscan Sun is not one of them.

This inspiring film tells the tale of a San Francisco writer, Frances (Diane Lane), who has been left devastated by her recent divorce. It seems nothing can remedy her life from this depressive, miserable slump.

At the advice of her concerned friends, she abandons her inhibitions and ventures on a soul-searching journey through Italy to make a fresh start.

Along the way she falls in love with the breathtaking countryside of Tuscany, impulsively buys a house and proceeds to build a new life in this unfamiliar place.

While repairing and renovating her new home, her personal life is also revamped.

At first, Frances struggles to sustain herself in this new country lifestyle-feeling vulnerable and second-guessing her life-choices.

But the many new experiences, friends and handsome Italian men that soon enter her life give her all she needs to find happiness and fulfillment once again.

The thing that is most special about Under the Tuscan Sun is that it’s a true story.

The movie is a film adaptation of Frances Mayes’ best-selling memoir of the same name. Every person and experience depicted in the film is from the author’s life.

While the movie is strewn with corny symbolism, clichés, exaggerations and mediocre actors, it is surprisingly not as predictable as other romance films.

Spectacular scenery is the movie’s best asset. It’s a beautiful sight for moviegoers and without it the film would not be quite as inspiring and interesting.

The movie’s idealistic portrayal of characters and places, and its magnificent aesthetic appeal, make for a lovely film.

Under the Tuscan Sun is a feel-good movie that provides the audience with a wonderful, enjoyable escape.

Gina Sicilia can be reached at

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