Under the Tuscan Sun

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

In this romantic comedy, 35-year-old writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) marriage unexpectedly disintegrates. Her best friend, Patti (Sandra Oh) who, with her lesbian partner, is excited about being pregnant sends her on a tour of Italy as therapy. Outside of Tuscany, Frances abandons the tour and, on a whim, buys a dilapidated old villa. With the help of the realtor, Mr. Martini (Vincent Ricotta), Frances throws herself into making her new home livable and charming. She makes new friends among her neighbors and a group of Polish carpenters that she hires to help with the work. Free-spirited, eccentric British ex-patriot Katherine (Lindsay Duncan) admonishes the slightly spoiled American to stop wallowing in self-pity over her loneliness. When Frances ventures into the city alone, she meets Marcello (Raoul Bova), a handsome Italian businessman. Soon Patti joins her and decides to have her baby in Italy. Based on a popular book by the real Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun has gorgeous scenery worth the price of admission, but the story is too slow for the average moviegoer.

This is a story of lifes unexpected turns and second chances. As Frances settles into the slow pace of Italy, she works through her divorce, her loneliness and her depression. Disappointing is Pattis lesbian relationship and her decision to have a child in a nontraditional way. Frances touring companions are all gay and are mostly effeminate men and masculine women who drink heavily. This element appears to be inserted simply to widen audience appeal. Frances brief fling with Marcello becomes no more than a one-night stand that restores her self-image as being a desirable woman. Casual sex is presented as a requisite for self-esteem and sends a dangerous message to teenagers. Two fairly graphic bedroom scenes with Frances and Mercello, plus a teenage couple in bed, glamorizes premarital sex. Positive treatment of casual sex and the homosexual lifestyle along with some offensive language prevent Preview from recommending Under the Tuscan Sun.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Touchstone Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times mild 3, moderate 2

Obscene Language: Several (6) times (F-word 1, S-word 4, other 1)

Profanity: Several (8) times regular (G 1, J 1); exclamatory (OMG 6)

Violence: Few times moderate (school boy knocked down, huge snake in house)

Sex: None.

Nudity: Near Nudity: Few times (woman shown posing nearly nude for artist, cleavage shown, woman shown in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman seduces man, remarks referencing sexual desire)

Drugs: Much wine drinking

Other: Woman learns value of friendship in strange land, lesbian chooses to have a baby

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Young adults and adults

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