This charming foreign film is based on a 1922 novel. The film won 2 Golden Globe awards, for actresses Miranda Richardson and Joan Plowright, and as the tagline says, “If you liked A Room with a View and Howard’s End, you’ll love Enchanted April.”
Yes, you will.
The plot is a bit slower, but it starts in 1902s London — a rainy and gray London, where two women read a rental ad for an Italian villa, and decide to make it happen for themselves. Both are married, Rose (Richardson) to a cheater and Lottie (Josie Lawrence) to a self-absorbed prig. In order to afford the villa, they pick up two other women, Mrs. Fisher (Plowright) who is an older, rather controlling spinster and Lady Caroline (played by Polly Walker) who is a flapper who wants to get away from the mad chase her rich and spoiled life has become.
Despite initial challenges, the villa provides solace and peace and beauty, and all four women are changed. Husbands arrive, the landlord (played by the ever-charming Michael Kitchen) appears, and the houseparty becomes an opportunity for happiness.
There is not a lot of plot, but the ensemble is wonderful. And, frankly, the villa and Italy are gorgeous. It is also a lovely film about women over thirty (other than Lady Caroline), so not so much about ingenues but mature folk rediscovering love, beauty, and each other.