It's the year 1753. Giacomo Casanova is waiting for a promise made by his mother several years ago. Meanwhile, he spends big time in Venice as an infamous lover and seducer for several ladies, something that the Church has not tolerated for a long time. When Casanova is finally apprehended, his friend and protector the Doge has had enough of his cheekiness and gives him one chance for redemption by finding a decent woman and marry. He finds a good chance with Victoria—the "pure" daughter of Mr. Donato—who actually lusts for him every time.
Casanova ends up meeting a beautiful, ahead-of-her-time woman named Francesca Bruni, who despises what he's doing. She also is inconveniently engaged to a butter merchant from Genova she's never met, Paprizzio. Both defiant and betrothed, Casanova begins to slowly fall in love with her.
Also, her clumsy brother Giovanni is jealous of him for conquering the heart of Victoria, with whom he has been in love for some time. Casanova unwillingly must impersonate several people, including Paprizzio and Guardi, and use the picaresque in order to get closer to Francesca. Also, the Church has sent a cruel inquisitor to Venice to stop Casanova's schemes. Hilarity Ensues.
Casanova is another approximation of the Casanova myth, this time in a rom-com style with Heath Ledger playing the titular character and directed in 2005 by Lasse Hallström. It also stars Sienna Miller as Francesca, Natalie Dormer as Victoria, Charlie Cox as Giovanni, Oliver Platt as Paprizzio, Lena Olin as Ms. Bruni, Jeremy Irons as inquisitor Pucci.
This film includes examples of:
- Action Girl:
- Francesca. Your brother is a poor swordsman who's got himself into a duel? No problem, just take his place and kick ass!
- Victoria holds her own with a sword in the climax.
- Age Cut: At the beginning of the movie, with a dissolve from the child Giacomo to the adult Casanova, portrayed by Heath Ledger. The little boy actually looks enough like Ledger to be plausible, which isn't always the case.
- Cannibal Tribe: For failing to punish Casanova for his crimes against the church, Pucci's predecessor and his entire staff get sent off to be missionaries somewhere where there is one.Pucci: Let's just say...they have a great hunger for religion.
- Captain ObviousGiovanni: She has a secret lover.
Casanova: A secret lover? Who?
Giovanni: ...well, I don't know, it's a secret.
- Cat Scare: Mild example. It appears that Victoria is about to be discovered under the table at the Carnivale, but a pig emerges from under the table, instead.
- City of Canals: The movie takes place in Venice, with people jumping over and even into the canals.
- Consummate Liar: Casanova. He's engaged to Victoria, he's Salvatto, he's Papprizzio, he's engaged to Francesca, he's Bernardo Guardi, he hasn't seen his fiancé anywhere around here, and he's certainly not the owner of this villa.
- Deadpan Snarker: Casanova is especially good at this, although virtually everyone in the cast takes a turn.
- Casanova's butler Lupo is actually probably the king of this trope, snarking at all of the ridiculous stuff Casanova gets them both into.
- Double Entendre: "No intercourse before the wedding... social intercourse, of course."
- False Reassurance: Pucci asks Casanova (who is pretending to be Papprizzio) if he'll help him find and hang Casanova.Casanova: As sure as my name is Papprizzio.
- Foreshadowing: Andrea to Francesca, her daughter, about her arranged fiancé. "If you don't marry him, then I will."
- Happily Married: Victoria and Giovanni, in a rather odd way that involves both of them having lots of sex with other people.
- Holier Than Thou: The Inquisitor Pucci, played by Jeremy Irons. Rather than speaking about forgiveness, redemption, or any attempt to save the souls of those ostensibly under his care as a member of the Church, Pucci's goals all seem to revolve around control. There also appears to be an entire order of nuns willing to add another notch to Casanova's bedpost. When admonished for risking (or perhaps earning, in the eyes of the inquisitor), eternal damnation for a single night with Casanova, the response is "seems fair."
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Pucci is no fool, but his second-in-command is notably smarter than he is, and usually seems to figure out what's going on just before Pucci does. Notably, when they both see Casanova and Francesca in the hot air balloon, Pucci deems it witchcraft while the second-in-command starts explaining the scientific principle of it, before giving up and agreeing that it's witchcraft.
- Last-Minute Reprieve: Subverted, as it turns out the papal messenger is a fake, and when the authorities find this out, all the main characters are obliged to make a run for it.
- Lust Object: Casanova to Victoria. And most other women.
- Masquerade Ball: Most of the cast attends one for Carnivale.
- Messy Pig: Francesca inadvertently starts a trend for upper-class Venetian ladies to keep pet pigs. (There's no evidence of any of them being particularly messy.)
- Moustache de Plume: Francesca as Bernardo Guardi.
- Naughty Nuns: Casanova has had sex with AN ENTIRE NUNNERY.
- Naughty Under the Table: Implied or at least punned on when Victoria hides under Casanova's table at the ball.
- Pair the Spares: Taken to extremes - everyone finds a romantic partner by the end of the film, including Giovanni, who also takes on the mantle of Casanova.
- Parental Abandonment: Casanova's mother leaves him as a child with his grandmother and flees Venice with her lover, promising to come back. He never stops waiting for her. His faith is justified in the end.
- Politically Correct History:
- Set in 18th-century Venice, it features an emancipated female scientist, who writes books and, as it seems, invented the hot-air balloon. Also justified in that most other characters, male or female, don't accept her.
- Though Francesca's character is fictional, Emilie du Chatelet (Voltaire's mistress), is a Real Life example, whose writings included a French translation of Isaac Newton's Principia. Newton did anticipate the hot-air balloon.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Doge is doing everything in his power to keep Casanova from being hanged. Unfortunately Casanova doesn't make it easy for him, and Pucci is one of the few people with enough power to overrule him.
- Royal "We": Casanova uses this in front of Lupo. Subverted in that Lupo uses it back.
- Sex–Face Turn: After Victoria satisfies her raging lady-boner, she decides not to falsely accuse Casanova of rape. Played with; she only loses her virginity because she wants "proof" that she was raped.
- Skyward Scream: Victoria, upon seeing Casanova with Francesca in the hot air balloon.
- Snowball Lie: The duel where Casanova pretends to be Salvato to save Lupo from having to fight. He ends up having to pretend to be Salvato for half the movie; this is only the first of SEVERAL personas he has to maintain.
- Straw Prude: Francesca is this to at least her mother and Casanova.
- Stout Strength: Papprizzio is fat enough that he tilts any gondola he uses and strong enough to lift a grown man by the collar with one arm.
- That Came Out Wrong: Invoked In-Universe by Lupo via a comment on being "very well-endowed" (referring to money).
- Took a Level in Badass: Papprizzio, of all people. After being wrongly racked by Pucci under false accusation of being Casanova, Papprizzio is mutually flirting up a storm with Andrea (Francesca's mother) when Pucci appears. Papprizzio lifts a papal inquisitor bodily off his feet by his collar. This only improves Andrea's opinion of him.Papprizzio: Why don't you...stop interfering? All right?
- Toplessness from the Back: The Theatrical release poster has a woman's bare back facing the viewer.