Monday, May 16, 2005

Under the Tuscan Sun, movie version

In the past few days it seems I have watched more television than I've watched in ages! Of course this is true because I've been "fasting" from the television for Lent, but being ill and not feeling well almost requires the mind to take a vacation so it can do more important things like help get the body well than to think and come up with all kinds of scenarios and work on writing stories. It has been a loooonnnnngggg time since I have been in this particular condition and I find it nostalgic in a way as well as unpleasant. I love to watch television and going to the movies as is, but when it is almost impossible to do anything else, well, that almost takes the fun out of it.

One of the movies I did watch during this time, and more than once, was Under the Tuscan Sun which was based off of Frances Mayes' memoir by the same name. As most of you know, I read the book after seeing the movie and was amazed to discover just how different the two of them - movie and book - truly are. The book is filled with Frances Mayes' struggles with renovating a Tuscan villa with her husband and the movie is about a "character" with the same name who discovers herself and her life while going through some of the same things in the renovation project as the real Frances Mayes did, but on a more entertaining level. The book is simply non-fiction, while the movie is nothing but fiction, and a lovely entertaining story filled with such hope.

Yes, I know I've mentioned this movie before here in The News and I have referred to it often, but it has been a while since I have permitted myself the luxury of falling into a movie so completely I am in it with my imagination. Being sick does help this particular ability I must admit, but it doesn't make it happen all the time.

Still, Under the Tuscan Sun has been most interesting and filled with entertainment for me. Audrey Wells, writer of the screen story, did an excellent job by taking something that happened and put a wonderful spin on it. I would have been upset normally at discovering all of the screen story (the movie) was fiction, but the acting, directing, and sets worked so well I had no cause to be upset. It was nothing more than an idea brought to life of the novel, and it didn't have to be made realistic to make it work. This time I can easily see how "based on a real occurrence" is nothing more than a nice way of saying "Hey, I read this book and really loved it! The things that happened to this couple was amusing and everything just leapt at me with such vividness I couldn't help thinking what if all of this happened to a divorcee and thus this particular story was born. Hope you like it."

Oh, yes, and I admit this is a "girlie" movie as Hubby says. It reaches out and touches women who are over 18 who have lived a bit and kind of have a clue as to what is out there in the world, and who have discovered a life despite bad things happening to them. If you like "girlie" movies and want a good movie just to sit back and relax with, I highly recommend Under the Tuscan Sun starring Diane Lane as the fiction version of Frances. It is absolutely wonderful!

No comments: