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
The visual part of Jeffrey Tambor's role as the divorce lawyer was cut from the film at Tambor's own insistence. Tambor was so impressed by Diane Lane's performance that he insisted to Audrey Wells that the scene would have more emotional impact if his character remained unseen. See more »
When Signor Martini is next to the fireplace telling Frances about the train tracks through the mountains, the matchbox behind him moves around the top of the fire place. See more »
What are four walls, anyway? They are what they contain. The house protects the dreamer. Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game. It's such a surprise.
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So, I've heard this film got the beating because it wasn't like the book? Ah, well, trust me; I'm a huge book-lover (and Harry Potter fan), so I can say that if I had read the book and was an immense fan, I probably wouldn't have liked the film if it had taken the basis out of the original story. I truly sympathize with those of you who disliked this film because it did not go with the book in some way or another. ;)
Although, since I love writing myself, I have a very wonderful relationship with this film and its delicious scenery, how the characters in it build in confidence, and the whimsical things that seem to be thrown in it artfully. Yes, there are some so-called "cliches", which is a word I hate using. We use that word to describe things that happen every day in our life, things that repeat themselves in storybooks and films and are heard so often that we are likely to vomit with expectancy of it all. But the thing that hit me about this film is that a lot of things happen that you really don't expect. The coming-of-age story has been told for ages, and will be expressed forever, with all its little tidbits of similar goings-on (serious situation happens, main character finds escape, love, broken heart, confusion..etc.). I don't think an entire genre of literature can deny its existence, now, can it? :)
The acting is superb, and it has a lot of light-hearted moments that lift it up. It's basically about accepting yourself before you can truly find "Mr.Right", and realizing that you shouldn't put the blame on yourself for every single thing in your life that happens, and about taking chances because life can have pros and cons. I even think that some men would like it. This film was very inspiring to me, and although I didn't see it in theaters, I left my couch feeling very creative and content, as if I wasn't the only one who got inspiration from the little things life seems to hand out.
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