22 May 2010

Weekend Cooking: Under the Tuscan Sun (Film)

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


The film Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane, is just barely based on Frances Mayes's memoir, also titled Under the Tuscan Sun. In the movie, we follow the story of Frances, a San Fransisco writer, from the time she is divorced to the establishment of her new life in Italy. Along the way, we learn there are many meanings of the word family and that there are unexpected ways to find happiness and love.

The food lover in me particularly enjoyed the movie because Tuscany is home to some of my favorites: olives, fish, pasta, cheese, and wine. In the film, Frances puts her new kitchen to work when she cooks elaborate meals for her workmen friends. Those scenes helped make the movie for me.

Well, I also like Diane Lane and I love the setting. This is a fun movie, and you can enjoy the meals vicariously, even if the romance and humor are not quite for you.

The book Under the Tuscan Sun was recently reviewed at S. Krishna's Books, and she does a great job discussing the differences between the book and the movie. I highly recommend the memoir and suggest the movie for some night when you're looking for pure entertainment.

The movie trailer doesn't particularly highlight the food scenes, but take a look anyway.

Have you read or seen Under the Tuscan Sun? How about Mayes's other books?


Marg 5/22/10, 5:58 AM  

Watching this movie and reading the book made me want to go to Tuscany so badly. I spent a lot of time on cyber tourism after that, dreaming of a trip there!

caite 5/22/10, 6:55 AM  

you know,I have not read this book nor seen this movie. off to add it to my Netflix list, thank you.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 5/22/10, 7:06 AM  

I've read and watched UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. Loved them both, but I'm glad I did my usual 'read the book, then watch the movie' routine.

I recently read her SEASONS OF AN ITALIAN LIFE. Also very enjoyable, but a looser narrative.

Sandy Nawrot 5/22/10, 8:09 AM  

I was sad when I read Swapna's review, knowing that the movie, as usually, did their own thing. That being said, I have the movie loaded on my iPod, for quick viewing when I am in need of a fantasy. It is such a feel good movie.

Beth 5/22/10, 8:22 AM  

I've always really liked the movie, and I'll have to say, I was a bit disappointed when I read the book. But thanks for reminding me of it, it's time to pull out the dvd again!

bermudaonion 5/22/10, 8:35 AM  

After reading your post and Swapna's post, I really want to read the book and see the movie!

JoAnn 5/22/10, 10:21 AM  

I really enjoyed the book, but haven't seen the movie... heading over to Netflix to remedy that!

Julie P. 5/22/10, 10:22 AM  

It's rare that I have both read the book and seen the movie, but I did both in this case. Like both, but for different reasons!

Margot 5/22/10, 10:42 AM  

I've both read the book and seen the movie. The foodie in me preferred the movie. The cinematography was amazing for both Italy and the food.

Anonymous,  5/22/10, 10:45 AM  

I have neither seen the movie nor read the book. I think the movie could be fun - I'll keep a look out for it on my movie channels.

Anonymous,  5/22/10, 11:36 AM  

I've seen the movie but not read the book. I really liked the movie.

Alyce 5/22/10, 12:33 PM  

I love the movie, but I haven't read the book. I own it though. I have heard that the book isn't as charming as the movie, and I think that's held me back from reading it so far.

Heather 5/22/10, 2:01 PM  

I am totally in love with black olives right now. Each recipe I see that uses them for more than a garnish calls out to me. Perhaps a movie with olive ladden meals would help (or make me salivate even more).

Melissa 5/22/10, 3:25 PM  

I'm in the minority in regards to the book (haven't seen the movie), but sadly, the book was not one of my favorites for several reasons. A lot of things didn't work in this one for me. Again, I know I am in the minority, though ....

Jena 5/22/10, 11:54 PM  

I have read Under the Tuscan Sun, Bella Tuscany, and In Tuscany. Loved the first two, but don't remember much about In Tuscany.

Know what I loved about the book version of Under the Tuscan Sun? The chapters of recipes. Haven't tried them yet but I intend to! (The book made me crave Italian food more than the movie.)

BooksPlease 5/23/10, 1:54 AM  

I love Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany. Usually films that are so different from the book really annoy me, but when I saw the film it had been so long since I'd read the book that I enjoyed that too.

Now I've got to go and get the books off the shelves to enjoy them again!

Jane in AUSTRALIA 5/23/10, 5:21 AM  

Interesting how food in movies can stir us to action: to cook, to travel to read, to dream.

Unknown 5/31/10, 5:12 PM  

My husband and I went to Italy for our honeymoon a few years ago, and visited Rome, Florence and Tuscany. I read this book after I got back, and loved it.

deweydecigal 6/19/10, 9:17 PM  

I propose a challenge...
Does anyone know where I can find a complete list of the foods/recipes/menus featured in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun?

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