I have not been this disappointed by a movie in a very long time! I absolutely loved the book it was supposed to be based on, “Under the Tuscan Sun”, but besides the title and the names of some of the characters, this movie has very little resemblance to the classic book!!! I cannot believe that the author allowed her brilliant work of art to be bastardized the way it was in this awful rendition. The Writer-Director of this movie, Audrey Wells, took a beautiful marbel statue and turned it into a lump of smelly clay!
Look, I know everyone says the same thing about movies never being as good as the book they were based on. I never expected this movie to even come close to the book, but I never imagined that it would be THIS far removed from it!!! Never!
Maybe I set myself up too much for this experience. Maybe it’s because I was born in Italy and that I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. In any event, I watched in shock and awe as Diane Lane (Whom I normally love) chewed up the lovely scenary (even Wells couldn’t spoil the gorgeous landscapes of my homeland)! Diane over-acted and became a pathetic, weak, and annoying creature—nothing like the adorable woman from the book who cooked up a storm of luschious delights in her kitchen and who painted delicious treats with words as she described the country of Italy and all of the wonderous characters that she encountered.
This movie disappointed on so many levels that it would take forever to describe them all. I will just cover the few that come to mind right away. For example, after being divorced for a long time, Diane Lane’s character literally throws herself at an Italian man she meets on the street. There is no romance, no long walks “under the Tuscan sun” or any hint of affection, just a blunt conversation where he asks her “so you want me to have sex with you?” argh!!!! I wanted to turn off the movie right then and there, but I continued.
I wanted to see what else this writer/director would do to destroy this potentially magically movie! Sure enough, she added a whole bunch more of her touches, such as a boring “forbidden” love affair between one of her Polish migrate workers and a teenaged Italian girl. Woooo!!! Then there was this mentally-challenged older woman who used to be a famous movie star in Fellini films who gets her kicks by prancing around in the public water fountains and getting painted in the nude (insert gasp here!). Then there is Diane Lane’s bestfriend who is a pregnant lesbian who gives birth in Italy! (argh!!!). And on and one it goes…where the absurdity ends, nobody knows.
Seriously, if this movie had nothing to do with the book, then perhaps I would not be so hard on it. However, since it was given a wealth of wonderful recipes (literally) to work with and thus turned into such a pile of dung, then I must be honest and take issue with it. To go further with the food analogy, if this could have been a feast of delights, instead, this movie turned out to be nothing more than a trip to McDonald’s…with no happy meal in sight.
Go rent Enchanted April or Much Ado About Nothing instead if you want to see the splendor of Italia on film!