I've been up to my neck in vampires for the last month, and with Valentine's just a few days away, I decided I wanted to watch a couple of chick-flicks. So, after I did today's vamp-flick, (Today was Day 32 on the vampire blog) I dug through a box of movies and decided to sit down and watch Must Love Dogs and Under The Tuscan Sun.
Two movies I love, and haven't watched in a really long time. I hadn't even paid attention to the fact that they sort of ended up being a Double Feature. Both films star Diane Lane as a woman who is putting her life back together after a divorce. I was over half way through Under the Tuscan Sun when this fact registered in my brain.
What I think makes both these films so endearing, is the fact Lane is not afraid to get messy. There is a scene in Sun where she literally is falling down a hill covered in mud, and an earlier scene where she's brave enough to do the whole scene without any make-up.
And in Dogs, there is this great scene where she jumps into a lake when trying to get the attention of a guy. Gutsy moves if you ask me. There is just this great sense of honesty that she brings to all her roles. And why I think, this genre of romantic comedy, has made her the equivalent of an action hero. (in other words, she is to romance what Jason Statham is to action)
Must Love Dogs (2005), is about this woman who's family decide that after her divorce, they are going to help her start dating again. Her sister signs her up for a dating site, and sends her on a bunch of really bad dates. One of which is at the dog park with a man who is also recovering from a horrible divorce. They at first do not seem to hit it off, but decide to go on a second date, which also goes wrong. Meanwhile, while working as a teacher, she meets one of the father's of her students and starts an affair with him. Before she knows it, she is juggling both relationships hoping to figure out which man is better suited for her before it's too late.
Under The Tuscan Sun (2003), is about a writer and book critic who learns that her husband is cheating on her with a younger woman. After spending a year living in a small one room apartment during the divorce, her two best friends send her on a tour of Italy as a way to get her out of her depression. While on one of the tour stops, she sees an ad for a villa that is for sale. Thinking it's a horrible idea, she continues on with the bus tour only to end up stopping in front of the villa when a random heard of sheep cross the road. Taking it as a sign, she buys the house. Soon, she finds herself in a crazy love affair that doesn't last, becoming a safe haven for her best friend who is now pregnant and divorced too, and the teenaged girl who lives next door that is in love with one of the construction workers that is restoring the villa.
Under the Tuscan Sun is also based on a biography, which I think makes it even that more charming. It's not just a cute little movie about finding your heart again after a tragic time, but it's a real story of rebuilding. Of picking up the pieces and figuring out a new puzzle.