When I worked at the Daily Lobo, we used to get free movie tickets to premiere screenings of new releases. The promotional team for these movies would unload hundreds of ticket vouchers at the front desk of the classifieds office after having advertised in our paper. All students needed to do was come in and make a request for their ticket vouchers. Usually, each voucher was good for two people, and limit one voucher per person.
When Under The Tuscan Sun came out in 2003, I dragged my mother to see it. This was no easy feat if you know anything about my mother: due to her back injury, she’s not able to sit or stand for very long. In 2003, her back wasn’t as bad as it is now, so she was willing to come out on this rare occasion to see the movie.
If you’ve never seen this movie, it’s the ultimate chick flick: Woman discovers her husband is having an affair, woman divorces husband, woman’s lesbian best friend (played by Sandra Oh) and her partner give woman their trip to Italy, woman goes to Italy, buys a villa, and tries to get over her divorce. It’s a self-discovery movie, to say the least, and I LOVE it. I watch it about once a month. Even in Korea, I brought my copy with me, and managed to still watch it. It’s a coming-of-age story, even though the main character is in her 40s. And it’s about real-life, human interactions which solidify relationships. But, mostly, it’s about family; the kind of family you’re lucky enough to choose throughout your life.
Today I am watching it for the first time in several months on account of my having loaned it to my mother in exchange for a substantial variety from her own movie collection.
Why is it that some movies make such an impression on us that we’re able to sit through it again and again, and still have the same level of enjoyment as that first time we saw it? I can ask the same of books we love to read, or songs we love to listen to.
For me, I think it has to do with the timelessness of certain media. Movies, if they are well written, acted, and filmed, can resonate with their audience for generations. Movies like The Wizard of Oz, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Godfather, Titanic, etc. all do this for their respective audiences.
I think I am so drawn to UtTS because of the imagery and voice of the main protagonist, Frances Mayes. The fact that it’s based on her life, written by her hand, makes the movie more like a piece of literature. In fact, the movie was adapted from the book of the same name. A book, by the way, I STILL haven’t read. Aside from that, the scenery of Italy… AMAZING.
So, even though it’s been ten years, and I’ve probably seen it quite literally a hundred times, I still enjoy watching my chick-flick on a random fall day as I occasionally peek in on my little one sleeping via the baby monitor.
**Question: What’s your all-time favorite / go-to movie?**