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I hate it when an actor or actress becomes popular and/or returns to form. The result is that we're forced to see them in every piece of junk passed by an executive at a major studio.

Case-in-point: Tommy Lee Jones, who won the Oscar in 1994 for his portrayal of Sam Gerard in THE FUGITIVE. As soon as he won that award, he appeared in practically every movie for the next two years:

Blown Away, The Client, Natural Born Killers, Blue Sky, Cobb, and Batman Forever...among others, before he cooled off and went back to his ranch where he played with horses and...oh, I dunno, yelled at himself wildly in a mirror. The whole thing is mysterious and still under investigation.

Diane Lane is suddenly America's sweetheart again after MY DOG SKIP and UNFAITHFUL and, in turn, that means that we have to suffer through a bunch of mediocre junk where she plays her same loveable self...only a little different.

UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is an unfortunate mess culled together from the great travel narrative written by Francis Mayes. It's predictable, silly, and boring and the first movie since, "There's Something About Mary" where I actually made a trip to the restroom and was actually told by my date (a GIRL who ALSO didn't like the movie, mind you) that I hadn't missed anything.

Lane plays the great Francis. She's a writer and divorcee who moves into a building that contains "many recent divorcee's". Buildings like this only exist in the movies. It also begs the question of how none of the single folk who live in that building aren't hooking up.

Anyway...Francis gets so depressed about her current living-stasis, that she decides to vacation to Italy to escape the doldrums of her life. Of course, Francis somehow ends up on a gay tour-bus (you can't make this stuff up) and tours Tuscany with just about every homosexual the United States has to offer. It gets so cutesy, it's a wonder that Carson Kressley isn't driving the bus in an unbilled cameo.

Somehow, Francis takes a side-tour of Tuscany and finds a beautiful house, which she ends up buying. The place seems to be in good shape but needs tons of work.

Somehow, every one of the construction people end up being friends, two teens of the opposite sex also become friends (and lovers), Francis finds this totally attractive Italian guy and then gets jilted by him and a bunch of unimportant stuff happens because the movie has no plot and thus needs to be padded out with anything...and I mean ANYTHING. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the owl flying into Francis's room during a thunderstorm (which always happens to new divorcee's on their first night in an old, worn-out Tuscan village house) was a major plot-point...or maybe the sink no turning on had some symbolism to it...who knows? Who cares?

If the movie had a sudden jump-cut and then ONLY YOU with Marisa Tomei got edited in by mistake, I don't think I could've told you the difference...except that the movie just got better and suddenly starred Robert Downey, Jr.

Diane Lane does her best to ignore the fact that, at any moment, the movie could end and it wouldn't make a difference. She's the only likeable thing in the movie and yet, her star-power can't hold TUSCAN up.

It's really not her fault, in any case. This movie tries SO hard to make you like it, that it trips over itself and ends up face-first in the middle of its own saccharin mess of a movie. It's the type of movie you watch and hate and then unleash on your Mom and sister because you know they like meaningless, simple, and unfunny tripe like this and THE OTHER SISTER.

-- Matt

*1/2 out of ****
This was a darn good movie. My friends laugh when I say that, but it was. I thought this movie brought something new to the screen. I loved the love story, Lane was awesome. The cinematography was outstanding too. I saw this by myself, cause my guy friends that go watch movies with me wouldn't give this movie the time of day. I think this movie would be great for couples, but is also great for all those out there like me that are lacking love in their lives. Go see this movie you won't be disapointed.
I love Diane Lane, who enabled me to willingly suspend my disbelief and enjoy this film.
Stupid and predictable.
I love the cinamatography and the story was pretty good. I just found the movie lacking it might just be me though :) its a pretty good movie the acting was well done I just did not really like the movie.
1st Movie UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN: :fresh: 6/10
I watched this movie with my mom last night. It is a sweet movie with a good performance from Diane Lane, but not much else. There are a few laughs here in there, a lot of crying, and a lot of boyfriends that dont work out. Yet the great scenery should have its own movie. I was wanting some people to move over just for the scenery. It would be a great way to attract people to Tuscany however. Really its just another chick flick, that with all the heavy, violent movies I watch, its nice to watch every now and then.

2nd Movie SECONDHAND LIONS: :fresh: 8/10
I had no interest in seeing this movie. But since my grandma was just dieing to see it, we rented it for her. She watched it and said it was one of the best films she had ever seen. Now since she says that about a lot of movies, it didnt really change my out look on it. Anyway, I was bored last night, and since she kept telling me to watch it, I decided to pop it in my DVD player and start to watch it. I got so compelled into the story, that I couldnt stop watching it. This was one of the best movies of 2003. And there was everything you needed, that would make anybody like it. Anyway its a great film that is highly enjoyable and heart warming, without becoming sappy (unlike some other movies we know radio).

3rd Movie MARS ATTACKS!: :fresh: 9/10
****NOTE TIM BURTON FILM**** This was another great Burton film. He tried to make it like the old 50's horror movies, and he succeeded. The colors are bright, the charectars are funny (and just like the old ones), and the martians have the same kind of charectar as the classic ones. Its partly a satire, partly trying to be serious. Altogether great, it goes down at bieng one of my all time favorite, it is a classic. Go out and get this movie, you will instantly fall in love with it.

We rented Under the Tuscan Sun this weekend. I liked this movie. I like feel good movies like this. No violence, no gore. I would love to just run off to Tuscany and buy a villa!

Speaking of movies, I have decided that movies should come with a rating for bore. You know how movies have are rated based on how much sex, violence, gore, adult situations, blah blah blah? Well, there should be warnings for boring movies. This way I wouldn't waste my time on anymore crappy movies.

Maybe I am just different. We watched Adaptation this weekend. Boring! Recently we have turned off several movies because they were so bad. Punch-Drunk Love was awful. 25th Hour was boring except for his F-you tirade in front of the mirror. Corky Romano and Master of Disguise were just garbage. Where are the good films? There are so few anymore!
I don't mind chick flicks that much, but this one somewhat irritated me. Everything seemed too unbelievable, even though it was probably every woman's fantasy come true. I think Hollywood romanticizes foriegn countries like Italy and France a little too much.

:fresh: I absolutely loved Under the Tuscan Sun. I have been a Diane Lane fan for awhile but I didn't care for Unfaithful at all. This movie is so good. It is definately a chick flick, I warn you men. If you are looking for a good movie for your girl though this is it.

:fresh: Alright Uptown Girls is not a movie to write home about. Brittany Murphy really needs to stop the ditzy roles I think. Show her acting range. Dakota Fanning is good. That little girl has a career ahead of her. I like this movie solely for her acting. I don't even know if I like the movie for it's story. I absolutely recommend this though.

:fresh: Had to give Johnny Depp a nice tomato because I'm in the mood to.

:fresh: This tomato is for Ms. Janet Jackson for the best publicity comeback in years. Woman sure knows how to promote herself. That was soooo planned. Wardrobe malfunction is a :rotten: tomato.
Well I finally was able to watch Under the Tuscan Sun. It's a total girl's movie, so if you are Oliver, or any other man you probably wouldn't like it. Since I'm not Oliver I did really like it. I think I'll probably end up watching it again this week. It's the story of Frances, a woman who is a writer and married. Well at least for the first 5 minutes of the movie. It turns out that her husband, (who is never shown) has been cheating on her for years, and divorces her. He takes the house and she ends up living in this miserable apartment building with all these other sad people. Two of her friends, give her a free ticket to Tuscany, Italy to cheer her up. She ends up buying a villa out in the coutryside and meeting all these different people. The movie is about her finding happiness and herself again. Tuscany is super beautiful. And it even made me want to travel.
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