Under the Tuscan Sun: Starting Over After a Divorce

· November 6, 2018

There are many songs, TV shows, movies, and books that can help us when it comes to starting over after a divorce. Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane, is one of them. Lane also acted in many films such as Nights in Rodanthe and Must Love Dogs. Under the Tuscan Sun tells the story of a woman who gets the chance to start over after getting a divorce. 

Starting over after a divorce isn’t the easiest thing to do because we’re pretty much forced to reinvent ourselves and reestablish our life plans. It’s a whole self-discovery process that can allow us to be who we really want to be, no matter what others say.

We must face loneliness before starting over after a divorce. It’s important that we learn to peacefully coexist with ourselves and take care of ourselves more than ever. Even though it’s a complicated thing to go through, it helps us better choose those we want to be around in the long run. It also teaches us to be more patient and to let love come to us instead of chasing it relentlessly.

A seemingly perfect life

At the beginning of Under the Tuscan Sun, we can see the main character, Frances Mayes, living a seemingly perfect life, surrounded by personal and professional prestige. However, her life crumbles when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her with another woman. Everything begins to change all of a sudden and her “perfect” and desirable life turns into a nightmare where Frances feels completely trapped. At that moment, she decides that the best thing to do is start over.

Starting over after a divorce means making big changes. We start doing everything by ourselves again. We go from thinking in pairs to individually. Also, we stop sharing our life plans with another person and just keep them to ourselves. However, something that this movie portrays is that Frances needs to muster up enough courage to discover who she truly is as a person.

Starting over after a divorce: Frances with a suitcase entering an abandoned villa.

Rebuilding our life

Life changes drastically after a breakup. We’re not who we used to be anymore and we feel the need to rebuild certain parts of our life. This requires effort and confrontation. In this regard, this process can be either simple or difficult – it depends on a lot of different things. One very important aspect is the level of affective dependency. In most cases, couples become one, so much so that they share all their life plans and basically forget about their individuality. This is something that can make the moving-on process a lot more difficult.

Emotionally dependent people either begin a new relationship right after a breakup or feel so much pain that they just choose not to get involved with anyone else for a long time. In the movie, Frances seems to be really dependent on her husband even though she supports him financially.

Not losing hope

Despite the pain she’s feeling, Frances doesn’t give up on love and begins to look at the outside world with curiosity and faith. She sees an old man giving flowers to an unknown woman and two young people starting a crazy love story. Above all, she begins to feel curious about the men around her.


It’s easy to feel hopeless when starting over after a divorce. However, we must keep in mind that although this process might be tough, it’s not impossible to get through. Love is still around the corner and can find us when we least expect it. We all deserve love. In all honesty, we find love when the time is right. Funny enough, this “right time” usually comes when we stop waiting for a significant other and are comfortable with ourselves.

A journey full of metaphors

Under the Tuscan Sun shows a beautiful metaphoric journey in beautiful Tuscany where Frances discovers her true self, potential, and strength.

The main character’s journey starts in a very unexpected way. Suddenly, she finds herself out of her comfort zone, in a bus full of homosexual couples who begin to applaud her as a sign of support. Little by little, Frances begins to open herself up to the unknown. She starts listening to her inner voice and following her instincts. At one moment, her intuition tells her to buy a run-down villa.

This house symbolizes Frances’ emotional state at that moment. It’s in ruins and needs to be completely upgraded. She somehow finds the strength to start over and reestablish her life project by beginning to remodel her recently purchased home.

Before buying the villa, she meets a man who’ll play a big part in her process of regaining happiness and self-confidence. This man will treat her with respect and will be with her every step of the way. Without a doubt, he’s one of the most important characters in the film.

Under the Tuscan Sun: Scenes you can’t miss

These two characters start becoming very close. This is something that gives place to many important scenes in the movie. One of them is after an electrical storm. Frances will have to face her fears and he shows up worried about her. At that moment, the main character feels relieved and happy to have such a good friend by her side, someone who’s willing to help her without expecting anything in return. He’s a respectful man who’s loyal to his wife.

Another important scene with this character is when Frances shares her dreams about the villa: she wants a beautiful family to live in it and for beautiful weddings to take place in its garden. This scene shows how comfortable she feels with the man. She’s able to express her thoughts and feelings to him.

During the wedding in the garden, this great character reminds Frances that her dreams finally came true. She thinks about it for a second and realizes that her dreams really did come true, even though they weren’t what she once expected. At that moment, Frances feels very happy and ready for love to finally find her. 

Frances smiling.

The stages of recovery

While starting over, Frances changes the way she establishes relationships with other people and goes through several stages. Although at one point she has the need to feel secure and simply focus on her new house, she gets tired and decides to take a trip to Rome. This is an important step.

We usually feel the need to be completely alone before starting over after a divorce. We want to feel free, with no distractions whatsoever. However, more often than not, the walls of our villa start crumbling down on us. After we survive, we feel stronger and ready to make new friends and enjoy the outside world. At that moment, we finally decide to leave our comfort zone and face new challenges.

The different facets of love

We have to discuss how Frances’ way of establishing new relationships with men changes. She had only been with her husband (both physically and emotionally), which leads her to feel completely lost once he’s out of the picture.

During the movie, we can see how she gets excited by flirting with a married man, her struggle to find out how she really feels about the friend who’s always there for her, how other men start making her uncomfortable, and how she finally meets Marcelo and begins to live a crazy adventure.

Frances starts realizing that there are many different ways to love people. She discovers how life is more than just sharing it with one person. Each character helps her discover something about herself she didn’t know. They offer her the chance to be a cook, a designer, a friend, a writer, a mother, an aunt, a lover, and a child. She discovers that love can be shared in different ways and that friendship is one of the biggest ways to show love.

Starting over after a divorce

Under the Tuscan Sun is a film that allows us to go to beautiful places. It also lets us reconnect with ourselves on an emotional level and gives us the chance to think about our own processes, our essence, and how we’d personally like to start over in life.

Not only do we see ourselves reflected in it, but we’re also able to identify other people’s stages as well. Without realizing it, we begin to think about our friends’ or relatives’ processes of starting over after a divorce or breakup. Broken hearts heal by discovering love’s other facets and giving ourselves the opportunity to be rebuilt, just like a run-down house.

This movie allows us to see how, as the villa is being rebuilt, Frances’ emotional state improves. Finally, the old man with the flowers greets her, and water starts to come out of an old tap, symbolizing the natural flow of life.

Under the Tuscan Sun represents hope and a journey full of defeats, victories, and new beginnings. In this film, we see several love stories being born while others fade away. Starting over after a divorce can be complicated, but we shouldn’t get too discouraged – we’ll find our way soon enough. We should give ourselves some time to learn to appreciate all the good things that life has to offer.