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 »
Near the end of the movie, as a voiceover speaks of the Semmering Pass railway from Austria to Italy, we are shown a train of the Rhätische Bahn (or Rhaetian Railway). Except for a very short section in Italy, the RhB operates only in Switzerland; it's nowhere near the Semmering Pass. 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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I love this movie. I don't care if it was a "chic flick" or what. Whatever, it was so breathtakingly beautiful that anyone should be entranced by it's sheer visual assault on the senses. When you add great performances by a fine cast, and an interesting story, you can't loose. Who wouldn't love to escape for an hour or so to the Italian Sun? Even the ending was realistic.
This is the second movie I've seen lately that took place in a beautiful countryside Italian Villa. The other, "My House in Umbria" was equally eye catching and enjoyable.
But I think I've reached the point of satiation. If I have to see one more movie where the lead actress has nothing to do but make friends, remodel her gorgeous Tuscan Villa, eat gourmet food on her sunny patio in the garden, have no money worries, and not work, I think I might snap. I pray daily that Diane Lane and Maggie Smith will one day be slinging hash in a Barstow truckstop and experience the real world.
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