In episode ten of the Movie Health Podcast, we delve deep into the transformative power of vulnerability, the essence of therapeutic relationships, and the importance of self-acceptance by analysing the timeless movie classic, “Good Will Hunting.” Monique Van Zelm Felix, a clinical social worker and neurodivergence therapist, guides us through the complex layers of this film to uncover its invaluable life lessons. 

Sarah's Favourite Movie

Under the Tuscan Sun | PG-13 | 1h 53m

A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany to change her life.

Summary Available from i md

Movie Discussion

In episode three of the Movie Health podcast, we discussed the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. “Under the Tuscan Sun,” tells the story of a writer Francis, played by Diane Lane, who impulsively buys a Tuscany villa after a divorce. Sarah explains their deep connection to the movie, emphasising its picturesque scenery and warm-hearted romantic comedy elements.

The movie captures Francis’ transformative journey as she embraces a new life in Tuscany, discovering love, happiness, and friendship in unexpected places. Sarah finds this message of trying new experiences and finding joy resonant and essential.

We highlight some meta elements in the film, including a scene where the characters watch “George of the Jungle,” directed by Audrey Wells, who also wrote and directed “Under the Tuscan Sun.” The interaction between the characters and the clever use of humour adds to the movie’s self-awareness.

We discuss powerful scenes that stood out to them, such as when Francis walks away from her previous life after the divorce, symbolising acceptance and moving forward. Another significant moment is when Francis buys a white dress for ladybugs, signifying her letting go of the past and embracing self-discovery. Sarah finds these scenes insightful, as they relate to overcoming challenges and not letting past experiences define one’s future.

The movie also explores resilience through Francis’ journey, starting with emptiness and gradually filling her life with new friendships, love, and a sense of belonging.

The conversation shifts to discussing Catherine, played by Lindsay Duncan, a free-spirited character who challenges Francis to be more open and find joy in life. Catherine’s presence helps Francis break out of her introverted shell and embark on a new chapter.

Although Francis develops a close friendship with Martini, played by Vincent Riotta, a married real estate agent, their relationship remains platonic. Martini becomes part of Francis’ support network, offering stability and support as she adjusts to her new surroundings. The ending scene, with the tap gushing water, represents her journey’s completion and fulfilment.

In conclusion, “Under the Tuscan Sun” is a movie that beautifully captures themes of resilience, personal growth, and transformation. It emphasises the power of embracing new experiences and finding joy in unexpected places. The picturesque scenery of Tuscany, heartwarming moments, and relatable characters contribute to the movie’s feel-good nature. Through Francis’ journey, the film reminds viewers that healing and personal growth are possible, even in adversity.

Tips for Mental Health

Based on her years of experience, Sarah sees the importance of adaptability, self-care, and understanding in maintaining good mental health.

Here are Sarah’s tips:

  • Embrace Change and Empathy: Take the time to understand others before rushing to judgment. Step into someone else’s shoes and consider their perspective and feelings. This helps combat judgment and misperception in a world where people often only see a small portion of the picture.
  • Reconnect with Nature: Find moments to spend time in nature, whether going for a walk in a park or in a backyard or garden. Nature can be restorative for the soul, providing a chance to refresh and focus on oneself amidst the busyness of life.
  • Let Go of Control: Recognize the need to relinquish control and realize that things can still be okay even if they’re not done in a specific way. It’s important to prioritize self-care and avoid burnout by allowing oneself time for personal well-being.

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is an accomplished healthcare professional with a proven background in diverse nursing education advancement, including leadership, digital health, organisational change, stakeholder relationship management, and driving innovations.

Please connect with Sarah via LinkedIn (link).