Casanova Review
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In order to recover from his physically- and emotionally-draining role in the Academy Award-winning drama, Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger decided to take on a light, fun project—Casanova. Ledger stars as the infamous lothario, who roams Venice, leaving swooning women and angry husbands in his wake. As the films begins, Casanova has once again gotten himself into trouble (this time, for defiling an entire order of nuns), and he’s about to be banished from Venice—unless he finds a noble bride and settles down.

With the help of his faithful assistant Lupo (Omid Djalili), he chooses Victoria Donato (Natalie Dormer), a maid known far and wide for her virginal ways. But then the impossible happens: Casanova falls in love with the one woman who’s immune to his charm.

Francesca Bruni (Sienna Miller) is a feminist through and through—and she detests everything that Casanova believes in. Fortunately, due to a case of mistaken identity, she doesn’t know who, exactly, the man who keeps following her around is. So Casanova figures he still stands a chance—or at least he would, if Francesca weren’t already engaged to Paprizzio (Oliver Platt), the lard baron of Genoa.

The cunning Casanova is determined to win Francesca’s heart. But, to do so, he’s got to get Paprizzio and Victoria out of the way—without attracting the attention of the bishop, who’s in town to arrest him and sentence him to death.

This semi-indie film may have been barely a blip on the big-screen radar, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing. In fact, it’s well worth your time—especially if you enjoyed A Knight’s Tale, another historical chick flick starring Ledger, as much as I did. The story is light and clever, and it only suffers just the slightest bit from those painful hidden-identity clichés (which I like to call The Mrs. Doubtfire Factor). But even if the story alone isn’t enough to keep you entertained (though it should—especially when Oliver Platt shows up on the screen), you can always sit back and enjoy the beautiful costumes and the breathtaking Venetian settings. Or the spectacular all-classical soundtrack.

Despite the fact that Casanova contains both romance and comedy, thereby classifying it as a chick flick, you don’t necessarily need to be a chick to love this suave swashbuckling flick. But if you suggest watching it the next time you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night, you may very well earn a few extra points with your fair maiden.

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