|(Mrs. Fisher, Lottie, Caroline, and Rose)|
One dreary London afternoon, Lottie sees in ad in a newspaper advertising a castle in San Salvatore Italy for rent. It promises sunshine, wisteria, and most of all, an escape from the ordinary, mundane life she leads with her ungrateful and unaffectionate English husband. She convinces Rose, a complete stranger and a kindred spirit of sorts, to go in with her to rent the Italian castle for the month of April. Realizing they cannot afford the trip on their own, they place an ad in the paper and recruit two more unlikely vacationers - Caroline Dester and Mrs. Fisher - to join them. Each woman has her own reason for wishing to escape and each finds exactly what she is looking for: a breath of fresh air and a new beginning.
The film is based on the 1922 novel The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin and was released in 1993. Despite being rather predictable and at times just barely skimming the surface of the real human emotion that would probably be involved in this type of emotional retreat, the film is entertaining and easy to watch. I laughed at Lottie's silliness, identified with Rose's feelings of inadequacy, teared up at Mrs. Fisher's loneliness, and cheered Caroline's independent nature. Despite the odd premise and the unlikelihood that this is actually a good film, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The film has a very Under the Tuscan Sun feel to it; the two stories are remarkably similar. Watching the characters begin to unwind and relax once they had fled the cold and damp of London and reached the lush and sun-kissed hills of Italy was incredibly satisfying. It was extremely relaxing to watch each person fall into the place that they should be. I especially enjoyed Mr. Brigg's character. The owner of the castle, he drops in on the ladies renting his house on his way to Rome and inadvertently falls under the same spell by which they all seem to be bewitched.
|(Caroline and Mr. Briggs)|