Cinema: Up At The Villa

Directed by Philip Haas

"You're an almost perfect specimen of the genus 'peach,'" says dashing reprobate Rowley Flint (Sean Penn) to the truly peachy Mary Pantin (Kristin Scott Thomas) in this stilted version of a Somerset Maugham trifle about the moneyed class inconvenienced by lust and Fascism in 1938 Florence. It's the sort of stiff-upper-Brit badinage that one may think one is nostalgic for, until one hears it played straight in a film with no glamour (the cinematography makes everyone look blotchy), urgency or sense. Really, my pet, it's all just too terribly terribly...terrible.

--By Richard Corliss

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