Tivoed this one night. Diane Lane is pretty good at picking her movies, so I was interested in seeing this.
And, of course, she's really pretty :-)
I think my mom said the book was mostly a collection of recipes. I think this is the book she was talking about. The movie only had her cooking as a very minor footnote. Near the beginning and the end they mention that all she wanted was to have her family around her, a wedding in her back yard, and to cook for lots of people. And that's about it for the cooking.
The beginning story is about a woman who just got divorced. Even though she's the bread-winner and owes him alimony, she ends up with a bunch of money from their house. She's alone in an apartment, and through a minor twist of fate her lesbian friends end up giving her a ticket to a tour of Italy/Europe. There, she stumbles on a villa (house and property) for sale in Italy. Someone had said something to her earlier about taking chances and changing course and buys it on the spur of the moment.
From there, the story is about her putting down roots in the community. Rebuilding her house. Becoming part of the lives of her neighbors. Her workmen becoming part of her life. Meeting another American woman who's very liberated and who helps her loosen up.
There are a few minor adventures. Getting mixed up with in the young love of her neighbor. A fling of her own. One of her friends coming to live with her. And basically just having people around her who come to care about her.
I'm sure there's a lot more. This is a pretty hard-core chick flick, and I'm sure I missed a lot of the symbolism. For example, there's a terrible thunderstorm near the beginning, and an owl takes refuge in her bedroom during the storm. I have no idea what that was supposed to mean. I'm sure it was significant, somehow.
Diane Lane's character was a little annoying to me. The character was a bit uptight at first. A bit rigid in her outlook.
The movie is generally cute and light. The neighbor daughter is way incredibly cute. The workers are a very interesting bunch. I wish they had spent more time on them. It feels like they had a lot more story, but it ended up on the cutting room floor. The neighbors were a bit short-changed, too. I guess that generally means that I wish there was more story, here. That I wanted the movie to last longer.
On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay Per View. A light chick flick. Generally fun. Mildly interesting. I'm sure I missed a lot.
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