A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.
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 a turn when her husband files for divorce as he wants to marry the woman with who he is having an affair, the infidelity and marital problem of which Frances was unaware. As Frances was supporting him as he was writing his own book, he sues for alimony despite Frances not being wealthy herself. 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, ... Written by
Something very strange happened on the way to make this film. It appears as though director and adapter, Audrey Wells, threw the original text away only to create her own trip to Tuscany. With the help of her gorgeous star, Ms. Wells found backing for this pastiche she ended up presenting to us, which bears almost no resemblance to the original book by Frances Mayes.
This is a movie full of cliches: The lonely and naive American tourist that would stay in Italy, the Latin lover, the good lesbian friend, and last, but not least, the eccentric Brit living in the small town!
The best thing this film offers is the radiant Diane Lane, who is just gorgeous enough to make us forget the story and what is she doing in the mess she is in. Also, Lindsay Duncan, another great British actress doing a crude interpretation of her own "La Dolce Vita" some 44 years later.
This is a typical "date film" which will be enjoyed by those people that didn't read the book.
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