Marco and I just watched Under the Tuscan Sun.
Now. Please pay attention. If you
A) loved this movie, and/or
B) think I’m swell, and/or
C) you think this film has a plot for which I might give away spoilers
I am warning you: Stop reading now. Otherwise, join me for some tea and cynicism after the jump.
Things I liked:
- The cinematography (albeit aided by the stunning backdrop that is Tuscany)
- The tour guide’s speech about why Diane Lane is on a gay tour of Tuscany
- Sandra Oh, who kicks the ass of practically every other actress working today
- “Can you star-69 Italy? I’m gonna try it”
- When Raoul Bova says, “Ciao, piccolo” to the kitten
- The Realtor
- The Polish guys
- The fact that Italians played Italians
- The fact that I did not pay to watch it
- I’d kill for that house
- When Diane Lane and Raoul Bova were in bed in the morning, and she (SO unnecessarily) reaches down his pajama pants and (SO unnecessarily) wants to know the word for penis in Italian, and Marco and I screamed CAZZO, then laughed so hard we had to pause the movie when Raoul Bova said, “Exhausted.”
Things I disliked:
- The plot
- The dialogue
- The stereotypes
- The clichés
- The stereotypical clichés
- The offensive condescension that was lifted directly from the book, mitigated only by the inherent likability of Diane Lane
- The fact that she got a bank account AND bought a house, seemingly within a matter of hours
- The fact that a farming family in rural Tuscany spoke fluent English
- The bizarre mix of modern wardrobes + costumes pulled out of a dusty, forgotten attic at Cinecittà
- The bizarre Moulin Rouge homage that was the kissing scene
- The pastis-looking color of the limoncello they drank at the lunch on the beach
Oh, come ON:
- The old man tipping his hat in the end (Although her reaction was not unlike mine in similar situations)
- The whole bit with the hallway faucet. She tore down a bearing wall, but didn’t think to lob that off?
- The scene with the dude and the ladybug at the end. SHOCKER
- The unexplained mystery of how she managed to have enough money to buy the house, pay the contractors, and fill the place with gorgeous shit
- Pawel and Chiara subplot. Yawn
- Improbable (i.e., perfect) view of flag throwing brigade
- The fact that the hateful woman who wrote that insipid book got to see her story (or rather, something vaguely resembling her story, something more lively, since her story was insipid) on screen, and herself played by Diane Lane
- The Realtor bought a gift, wrapped it, brought it with him to the piazza, and gave it to Diane Lane in full view of his wife and the entire town? Not bloody likely
- Diane Lane seemed to have an aversion to windowpanes
- When she gets a motorino ride from the cop in Positano – sidesaddle, no less
- The three Roman guys running after her
Shark jumping moment:
Did she really think he was going to be waiting for her? REALLY? What is she, 17 years old? What is she, the most naïve woman on the planet? I feel for her, taking a chance like that; but did it honestly never occur to her the entire train ride down there that maybe not everyone lives alone in a house in rural Tuscany, that maybe – just maybe – someone as good-looking and available as Raoul Bova might just be taking advantage of both of those attributes?
Plots like this are the reason why a solid half of my income is derived from ghostwriting dating and relationship advice books. Ironically, it’s probably also the reason why the other half is derived from travel writing.
Hey – thanks, Under the Tuscan Sun! Without movies like you, I’d be broke! Ha!