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Film / Under the Tuscan Sun

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Under the Tuscan Sun is a 2003 Chick Flick adapted from Frances Mayes' memoir of the same name, directed by Audrey Wells and starring Diane Lane.

Frances is an author who is happy one day, then finds out her husband is cheating on her and soon ends up divorced and living in a sad little apartment. She finds this situation intolerable, so when her best friend invites her to go on a vacation to Europe, she accepts. While there, she buys a giant villa in Tuscany (of course) on a whim, and spends the rest of the movie fixing it and her life up.


This film includes examples of:

  • Anchored Ship: Francesca and Marcello. An unusual variation in that the party who anchors the ship points out that they were completely reasonable to do so — scheduling mismatches and a bunch of other things that just screamed, "Sorry, I'm not ready to have a relationship right now, no matter how much I want to be" — and the other party accepts this.
  • Beta Couple: Pawel and Chiara.
  • Big Fancy House: A bit run down, but freakin' enormous.
  • Boyfriend Bluff: A variation. Frances grabs Marcello and pretends to be his girlfriend in order to get rid of some rude admirers.
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: a woman telling this to the Romantic False Lead is how Frances finds out that he is going to be the Romantic False Lead.
  • The Danza: The actor who played Pawel is named Pawel.
  • Exact Words: Frances vents to the Italian realtor at one point that she wants to host a marriage at her villa, and for someone to have a daughter there. She gets her wishes... as a pseudo-mother-figure to the groom, and an aunt to the child.
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  • Has Two Mommies: Zigzagged Trope. Frances' best friend Patti has conceived a child to raise with her partner Grace. Then Grace leaves her. Then Patti goes all Heterosexual Life-Partners with Frances.
  • Hollywood Economics: Frances gets $300,000 from the sale of her house, and isn't implied to have a great deal more sitting around. The villa she buys must be worth a million least, not counting the renovation with crew. It doesn't quite add up.
    • The scene where she makes her offer to the original owner heavily implies that it's a rather paltry sum. She's only sold the house because a pigeon flies over and... eliminates on her, which the owner takes to be a sign from God (or something like that). Francis goes over things like renovation expenses, as well, though it's never quite explained how much she actually has.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Frances walks in on Pawel and Chiara at one point late in the movie. Since Frances claims the office of Team Mom, this also verges into Parents Walk In at the Worst Time.
  • Last Guy Wins: Frances' actual love interest doesn't show up until about two minutes before the credits.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Pawel, a Pole, has to fight for approval from Chiara's Italian family.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: attempted by Chiara's family.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Patti is played by Sandra Oh and Grace by Kate Walsh, two years before their big break(s) in Grey's Anatomy.
  • Right Through His Pants: to keep the movie's rating down, basically every sex scene involves either this or a Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Romantic False Lead: Marcello
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Frances first buys the villa, she finds a faucet sticking out of the wall that apparently does... nothing. Near the end of the film, with everything falling into place, it starts to leak... and the film's final shot is of it flooding the kitchen.
  • Spaghetti and Gondolas: The movie arguably wouldn't work at all otherwise, but the trope is taken to ridiculous extremes.


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