Under The Tuscan Sun

Under The Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) is a San Francisco writer whose seemingly perfect life takes an unexpected turn when she learns that her husband has been cheating on her. The divorce—and the loss of her house to her ex-husband and his much-younger, pregnant new partner—leaves her depressed and unable to write. Her best friend Patti (Sandra Oh), a lesbian who is expecting a child, is beginning to think Frances might never recover. She urges Frances to take an Italian vacation to Tuscany using the ticket she purchased before she became pregnant. At first Frances refuses, but after another depressing day in her gloomy apartment, she decides that it’s a good idea to get away for a while.

In Tuscany, her tour group stops in the small town of Cortona. After wandering through the charming streets, she notices a posting for a villa for sale in Cortona. She rejoins her tour group on the bus, and just outside of town, the bus stops to allow a flock of sheep to cross the road. While they wait, Frances realizes that they’ve stopped directly in front of the very villa that she had seen for sale—something she believes is a sign. She asks the driver to stop and she gets off the bus. Through a series of serendipitous events, she becomes the owner of a lovely yet dilapidated villa in beautiful Tuscany.

Frances begins her new life with the help of a variety of interesting characters and unusual but gentle souls. She hires a crew of Polish immigrants to renovate the house. Over time, Frances also befriends her Italian neighbors and develops relationships with her Polish workers, the realtor who sold her the villa, and Katherine (Lindsay Duncan), an eccentric aging British actress who evokes the mystery and beauty of an Italian film star. Later, she is visited by the now very pregnant Patti, whose partner Grace has left her.

Frances meets and has a brief romantic affair with Marcello (Raoul Bova), but their relationship does not last. She is about to give up on happiness when one of her Polish workers, a teenager named Pawel (Pawel Szajda), and a neighbor’s young daughter come to her for help. Her father does not approve of him, yet they are very much in love and want to get married. Frances persuades the girl’s family to support their love, and the young lovers are soon married at the villa. During the wedding celebration, Frances meets an American writer who is traveling in Tuscany, and their attraction for each other points to a romantic future.

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