I had looked forward to seeing ‘The Tourist’ as soon as it was released. It was full of promise with Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton all skimming the water in Venice, Italy – one of my favorite places on the planet.

Then it was annihilated in the press. The reviews were scathing and it was completely ignored at the Oscars. Jokes were made. And having been burned by bad movies with good premises, I succumbed to the negativity.

What a mistake!

My husband and I rented this movie last night and it was great! There is a reason for Jolie’s character, Elise Ward’s coldness and Depp’s character, Frank’s persistent love for her. The two meet on a train bound for Venice from Paris.

Bettany’s role is priceless and there is a cameo with Raoul Bova, the actor who played Marcello in ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ with Diane Lane. He is so gorgeous that those few minutes are reason enough to watch this film, and ladies, a little payback for those of us watching our men ogle Jolie in figure hugging, cleavage bearing gowns with her long graceful neck and large inky eyes.

The main character is Venice herself, the magical, marvelous, mysterious, awe inspiring goddess of the sea who tamed the waters and claimed her glory. I could devour Venice with a single silver teaspoon – the bright blue Adriatic glistening in the sun, stone bridges arching gracefully over shaded canals, bobbing gondolas, architecture that feels middle-eastern, tall pointed bell towers, roof tops of clay. Venice is a visual feast!

I didn’t find Jolie’s British accent believable, but that’s certainly small compared to the large lambasting this suspenseful, mystery, love story – sprinkled with mafia – movie received. I regret not watching it on the big screen, but am glad to see it now. I recommend it for an enjoyable evening.

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