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392 of 412 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Film Will Have You Dreaming of Sunny Italy
The movie opens in rain-drenched England as down-hearted and dispirited Lottie Wilkins trudges through her day. An advertisement in the paper promising "Wisteria and Sunshine" at an Italian castle catches her eye. She seeks out another forlorn soul, Rose Arbuthnot, and convinces her to share this villa for the month of April. Because of expenses, they are...
Published on April 12, 2001 by Antoinette Klein

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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars After all this wait, a terrible transfer!
Of course this is one of the best films ever made. But for those of us who saw it in the theatre, bought the VHS, then bought the Laserdisc, this is a terrible disappointment. The sound quality is poor and uneven. The film looks like it was run at a grindhouse for a year before they made the transfer. Spots, runs, fades, off-colors, grain--in short, WHY? Why not take a...
Published on May 10, 2009 by Mark Irwin


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392 of 412 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Film Will Have You Dreaming of Sunny Italy, April 12, 2001
By 
Antoinette Klein (Hoover, Alabama USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enchanted April [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The movie opens in rain-drenched England as down-hearted and dispirited Lottie Wilkins trudges through her day. An advertisement in the paper promising "Wisteria and Sunshine" at an Italian castle catches her eye. She seeks out another forlorn soul, Rose Arbuthnot, and convinces her to share this villa for the month of April. Because of expenses, they are forced to also take in two strangers to share the load. Joining them will be Mrs. Fisher, an elderly woman who is hoping to remember "better times and better men," and the beautiful Lady Caroline who is tired of the constant attention she receives and longs for a restorative quiet time. When they arrive it is still raining, but at least as one of them so aptly puts it, "This is Italian rain." When morning dawns, the sun comes out and remains with them for the month.
Enchanted with the peace and tranquility of her new surroundings, Lottie longs to share her joy with her husband. When he arrives, Lottie urges Rose to invite her husband as well, but Rose fears that her husband, an author of racy novels under a pen name, will not come. Imagine her surprise when he shows up immediately. Of course, the catch is that he had no idea his wife was there but was hoping to have a dalliance with Lady Caroline.
In the peaceful Italian sun, marriages heal, new love blossoms, and unlikely friendships are born. The movie is light, filled with delicious humor and profound sentiments to stir your heart and soul.
Most enchanting of all may be the beautiful scenes filmed on location in Portofino. This is a great movie for self-medication in the gloom of winter when you want to seek greener pastures or just plain wonderful any day.
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162 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Enchanted..., August 8, 2005
By 
Mark J. Fowler "Let's Play Two!" (Blytheville, Arkansas (The "the" is silent)) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Enchanted April [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Mike Newell's film casts a seductive, mesmerizing spell on its audience. I strongly encourage you to see it if you have not.

Josie Lawrence leads a strong cast as Lottie Wilkins, a dowdy London housewife who we meet in the film's first frames trudging through post-WW I London. We meet Alfred Molina as her overbearing husband, Mellersh, who eyes all relationships as potential business opportunities, and sees his wife as not much more than a pet.

Lottie is riding on the bus in the dreary rain one day when she sees an advertisement on the back of the paper for an Italian Castle to be let for the month of April among the "Wisteria and Sunshine". Lottie's life hasn't allowed her much love or friendship, but she decides that she MUST take this April Holiday at San Salvatori. She approaches Rose Arbuthnot, who she barely knows, but has seen looking sad at Church services.

Rose is played by Miranda Richardson in a performance that suggests, if anything, that she has had her happiness even more suppressed than Lottie. Her husband, Arthur, is played by Jim Broadbent in full ruddy-faced glory. Arthur is a hedonistic author who writes pulpy trash novels with names like "Theodocia, the Slave Princess". He also chases after other young women who come closer to meeting his ideal of fun than his pious wife.

Lottie and Rose secure the rent of the villa and decide to advertise for a couple of other ladies to share the expense. Joan Plowright plays Mrs. Fisher, an older lady who grew up bouncing on the knee of the great English Poets of the day. Blundering Lottie asks "Oh, did you know Keats?" a century and a half after Keat's day.

"No", Mrs. Fisher replies with disdain. "And I didn't know Shakespeare or Chaucer either."

Polly Walker is the poster-girl of the group as Lady Caroline Dester, daughter of an extremely rich and aristocratic English Lord. Caroline moves in the most social of circles, but she has grown tired of being around men who paw and grab after her. She just wants a little time to "smooth her feathers".

Michael Kitchen plays George Briggs, the owner of the Italian Castle. Mr. Briggs is something of a mystery, as it appears that he is a wealthy English businessman, but he is also a gifted musician in addition to owning an Italian Castle, complete with a full staff. He is extremely short-sighted and doesn't bother to keep his immediate surroundings tidy. His few scenes are among the best of the movie.

These 4 ladies converge upon the Italian Castle and there... magic happens. I could go into detail, but I'd spoil you the pleasure of finding out for yourself. There are several times when the plot throws a wrench into the works, and in a different, lesser story, the movie would have degenerated into hysterical "drama". The way this film reveals and resolves these confrontations is like.... a breath of fresh Italian breeze through the Wisteria. I would ask only that you consider the shots of the moon in the penultimate scene - consider what the size and location of the moon means with regard to the tone of what is happening in the scene in the foreground. It is delightful.

If you can watch "Enchanted April" and not be charmed I feel truly sorry for you. It is on my very short list of very favorite films.

After years inexplicably not in release on DVD, it is finally available. Cheers!
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LIKE ACTION MOVIES!!!, December 18, 2003
By 
This review is from: Enchanted April [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I'm a guy. I love action. My DVD Collection is filled with mostly Matrix, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings type movies. I crave violence, guns, fast cars, hot chicks, and super expensive Special Effects!
So why am I reviewing this movie that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the above? Because I also looooove a good vacation!! And even though this movie is about two women who take a holiday in Italy, that's not what I was referring to. ACTUALLY WATCHING this little movie is literally like taking a mini-vacation!!
I've seen this movie in theatres and had it on VHS at one time (recorded from cable) and I came on here hoping to find it available on DVD. Sadly, tragically it's not, but hopefully it will be soon. I read some of the reviews of this and I must say every single one (positive one anyways) is spot on. If you're wondering whether or not to get this, I'd say trust what you read here and take a chance. You won't be sorry. In this review I wont give any spoilers or much plot details. Because this movie is so much more than a mere plot...
Whether it's a cold rainy day, or too much is going on in life, or you've watched one too many action movies lately, or for ANY reason at all, grab a bowl of popcorn, a pillow and your favorite blankey, have a seat and pop this movie in. And then prepare to be healed! ;)
The experience of watching this movie is like this: It starts of gray and dreary, kinda like how things in your life may be going. The plot is wonderfully simple and very easy to follow, while engaging enough to immediately cause you to be concerned and interested about the main characters. Basically two "friends" are sick of how things are going and want to get away. Then after a while you are whisked away to this scenic, majestic world of peaceful serenity and mysterious beauty, and to this ancient Italian chateau, which actually becomes one of the stars in the movie. Once you're there, you are comforted, catered to, entertained, intrigued, and overally refreshed! The movie's slower than snail pace in this colorful otherworld, while retaining it's magical engagement suddenly casts a spell on you before you even know it, and you find yourself absorbed, relaxed, and essentially ON VACATION! As the movie winds up and things get resolved, the rest of the cast of characters comes in and things get a little rompous. But it never breaks its hold on you and you really get a kick out of some of the resulting scenes! And at the end what seals the whole experience before returning you back to your life is a small bit of the only special effects in the movie concerning a certain "tree". The last bit of magic in a fully magical movie. As you return to life you feel as though your soul has taken a holiday and you feel supremely good!
Now for me, that's about the time to pop in another 007 DVD!!
This movie, as you can see, is a rare treat and has an even rarer enchantment within it. There is simply no other movie like it and you owe yourself at least a viewing! You will be enchanted... Enjoy!
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting for this on DVD:, February 1, 2007
By 
operamaryc "operamarty" (DIAMOND BAR, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enchanted April (DVD)
Thank goodness I purchased this on laser disc and can still watch it. And, watch it I do about 3 to 4 times a year just because it makes me feel really good. It is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time! (I'm 65 so that covers a lot of movies! Great cast, great acting the perfect balance of visuals is achieved in gorgeous Italy. Somehow you almost feel the sun and smell the flowers. At least you'll want to call your travel agent after first viewing this marvelous movie. Buy it on VHS if that's all you can because it isn't out on DVD in US yet and may never be. A shame! Such junk can get exposure on DVD and a lovely film like this with some of the best actors in England can't. Buy it! Everyone I've shown it to just loves it!
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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good News, DVD To Be Released Soon!, July 18, 2008
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This review is from: Enchanted April (DVD)
Many thanks to another review that provided a contact name and email address. I sent an email to Stuart Snaith many weeks ago, and just received a reply today (18 July 2008) from Liz Hammond. Liz said the problems over film rights have been resolved and the Enchanted April DVD is due to be released as soon as December 2008 or possibly as late as Spring 2009. I trust our long wait is coming to a close.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything Is Possible at San Salvatore, November 7, 2006
This review is from: Enchanted April [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This wonderful movie doesn't just tell a terrific story, it is a parable with deep psycho-emotional - and if you are willing to see them, even spiritual - implications. What does it mean? I don't want to spoil your fun by spelling it out in too much detail, but let me give you a few hints.

When the movie begins all the major characters - and there are a number of them, for this is an ensemble piece in which several characters are of more or less equal importance - are seen to be suffering from that almost universal affliction of fallen man, broken relationships. Each is, in his or her own way, either lacking the relationships they desire or unable to relate successfully to the most significant other in their lives. As a result, they are all more or less miserable, as Lottie Wilkins says to her newfound friend Rose Arbuthnot early in the movie.

The story this movie goes on to tell is essentially about how all this brokenness gets healed. Thematically that puts it in the same class with some of my other favorite movies, like A Christmas Carol (I prefer the old black & white Alistair Sim version) and Groundhog Day. Although less obviously than those two, Enchanted April is also a bit of a fantasy, for it takes some powerful magic to get these unhappy people out of their deeply entrenched ruts, just as it took magic (or would you prefer to call it divine intervention?) to save Scrooge and Phil Connors the weatherman.

In this case the magic is provided by a place: A castle in Italy called San Salvatore. But the fantasy is deeply rooted in reality, and we have no trouble believing that at San Salvatore anything really is possible, even that all these miserable people would find the healing and happiness they long for in one miraculously "enchanted April." For anyone with whom this theme resonates, the movie thereby provides not merely a happy ending, but one that is truly joyful.

Another thing that makes this movie a treat to watch is that it is full of wit and good humor. Much of it is rather subtle, but if you don't laugh out loud numerous times either you are not paying attention or your sense of humor is very different from my own. Be sure to watch for the hilarious little sermon fragment in an early scene, which is easy to overlook but priceless if you catch it.

It also doesn't hurt that Enchanted April is marvelously written, acted, and directed. Tom Keogh's editorial review mentions a "particularly sensitive" performance by Alfred Molina, and a "very funny one" by Jim Broadbent. I agree on both counts, but hasten to point out that even these are surpassed by the brilliant performance of Joan Plowright, for which she deservedly received a Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination. The cinematography is also of the highest quality, particularly the gloriously beautiful scenes set in sunny Italy. These would be even more beautiful on DVD, and it seems disgraceful to me that this terrific movie has not yet been released in that format!

In conclusion, I can only add that while both my wife and I could mention a great many movies we have enjoyed over the years, we both agree that this one is our absolute favorite. If you haven't seen it yourself, and if anything I have said makes you suspect you might possibly enjoy it, or has even piqued your interest in any way, I encourage you to see it as soon as possible. It may not be easy to find at your local video store, but I urge you to make whatever effort it takes. I'm almost certain you won't be disappointed!
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and lovely. A perfect holiday., April 21, 2000
This review is from: Enchanted April [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I had never seen this movie before I bought it, nor had I read the book. I bought it soley because of the title and picture on the cover. It was a beautiful movie, full of warmth and love. Everything about it was terrific. The gardens at the villa were absolutely lovely. And I love the villa itself. While watching the film, I, too, spent an April in quietude and peace with the four very different women who rent the villa. It's a magical place where each woman finds something within herself that had long slept, and as a result, they bloom, just as the oleander. You can really feel the magic of the place. A truly remarkable film. This for everyone who is a romantic. I just can't write enough praise. It's a must-see film.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, Heartfelt, and just Great, April 8, 2005
By 
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This review is from: Enchanted April (DVD)
There is not a lot to say that hasn't been said about this movie. It rates in my top 5 all time favorites. I have everything from the Die Hard collection to Godzilla, but this is the DVD I'm waiting for. I like art-house, and pretty much anything that is good, and that has style. This movie is great and has a lot of style. The characters have been brought back through time, the acting is superb, the scenery is stunning. The opening scenes portray a dreary England: Dismal weather and almost desperate people. All that changes in the second part of the film. The characters find a new zest for life and leave Italy much happier people. Only a machine could not be warmed, even a little, by this movie.

Please consider letting Amazon know that you are interested in this film being available on DVD. There is a box on the right side of the screen allowing Amazon to notify you when the film's available. This interest on our parts may encourage the studio to release this wonderful movie on DVD in all its widescreen splendor. Thanks. Ciao.
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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars After all this wait, a terrible transfer!, May 10, 2009
This review is from: Enchanted April (DVD)
Of course this is one of the best films ever made. But for those of us who saw it in the theatre, bought the VHS, then bought the Laserdisc, this is a terrible disappointment. The sound quality is poor and uneven. The film looks like it was run at a grindhouse for a year before they made the transfer. Spots, runs, fades, off-colors, grain--in short, WHY? Why not take a film everyone's been waiting to appear for years & get the negative out of the vault? Do a little resotration? Shame on Miramax & Disney--they certainly won't be in my "tub of love" anytime soon.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could a film adaptation be BETTER than the novel?, September 19, 2001
By 
This review is from: Enchanted April [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In this case, I think it could be true! There are a few twists the movie takes that reconcile a couple of minor lingering threads in the book. I find that they make the story more satisfying for me, but you may not agree...a reason to read the book AND see the movie!
Enchanted April is one of those stories that makes life seem good again. In the warm spring air of Italy, four very different Englishwomen cast off their doubts and their demons to become fast friends. The cinematography is grand, the locations enchanting (I think the movie was actually shot at the castle where Elizabeth von Arnim wrote the novel!), the costumes delightful, and the acting superb. Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Joan Plowright, and Polly Walker are wonderful, as is the rest of the cast. SEE THIS MOVIE!
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Enchanted April
Enchanted April by Josie Lawrence (DVD - 2011)
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