Newly divorced fortysomething Frances (Lane) takes a ten-day trip to Tuscany and falls in love with a rundown villa while out sightseeing. She buys it on impulse and sets about starting a new life in Italy, which includes, of course, having a romance with a hot-blooded Latin man.
Based on Frances Mayes memoirs of buying a house in Tuscany (the romantic story is entirely fictional, presumably to attract the chick flick audience), Under The Tuscan Sun is like an episode of holiday programme Wish You Were Here...? (you expect a phone number for the villa to appear on the screen) mixed with one of those ubiquitous TV shows about doing up your house.
There is a thin-as-chiffon plot involving a hunky younger man (Bova) and support from Lindsay Duncan as a liberated ex-pat enjoying all Italy has to offer, but theyre merely a distraction from all the loving footage of the beautiful Tuscan scenery.
Packed with more clichés than a pizza has pepperoni slices, this is truly disappointing, especially after Lanes stunning performance in Unfaithful.
Perhaps she signed up because she needed to relax and top up her tan, as theres nothing challenging about this predictable woman finds herself role and not much for her to do except float around looking gorgeous. Which she does, especially in the numerous scenes in which she looks ponderously out of her villa window, face illuminated by that warm Tuscan sun.
Middle-aged women bored with life in Milton Keynes may find this I could do that tale appealing, but everyone else not booking a summer holiday to Italy should steer clear.