Frances Mayes is a San Francisco-based literature professor, literary reviewer and author, who is struggling in writing her latest book. Her outwardly perfect and stable life takes an unexpected turn when her husband files for divorce. He wants to marry the woman with whom he is having an affair. Frances supported her husband financially as he was writing his own book, and he sues her for alimony despite her financial difficulties. And he wants to keep the house. Frances eventually accepts her best friend Patti's offer of a vacation, a gay tour of Tuscany which Patti and her lesbian partner Grace originally purchased for themselves before Patti found out that she is pregnant. The gift is a means to escape dealing with the divorce, from which Patti feels Frances may never recover emotionally without some intervention. Feeling that Patti's assessment may be correct in that she has too much emotional baggage ever to return to San Francisco, Frances, while in Tuscany, impulsively ditches ... Written by
In "Under the Tuscan Sun", a recently divorced American writer/critic (Lane) ventures to Italy where she sets about putting the pieces of her shattered life back together in the rustic, bucolic, scenic countryside of Tuscany. Lane registers a fine performance in this lighthearted drama spritzed with humor and romance which is as lovely as it is clumsy. Obvious in its attempts to tug at the heart-strings of romantics with all the expected Italian stereotypes and cliches, this flick received mixed reviews and will resonate most with more mature sentimentalists. Those who enjoy this film may want to check out V. Redgrave in "A Month by the Lake" (1995). (B)
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