This film centers on Marcello, a trattoria proprietor in an Italian village who will stop at nothing to make sure his beloved but ailing wife, Roseanna, realizes her dream of being buried at the local cemetary.
"This is a lovely movie. It was originally entitled "Roseanna's Grave". In its offbeat way, it tells of the love between a middle-aged man and his dying wife. Marcello, played by Jean Reno, has made a promise to his ailing wife, Roseanna (Mercedes Ruehl). He will make sure that when she dies, she will be buried next to their beloved child. Despite the rapidly diminishing number of plots in the town's overcrowded cemetery, he intends to keep his promise. He goes to great, even absurd lengths, to ensure that the other townsfolk do not die first and deprive his wife of that last available plot. When one of Marcello's friends dies in an accident, he hides the body in a freezer. When the family of a man declared brain-dead wants to turn off his life support, he pretends to hear the man speak. He fusses constantly over the health of all the townsfolk. It may all sound rather morbid but the film plays out very sweetly and with a gentle humour that often brims over into hilarity. His equally devoted wife meanwhile tries to pair him off with her younger sister, Cecilia, played by the lovely Polly Walker (Enchanted April). Unfortunately they can't stand each other. A little twist at the end allows the couple to live out one last dream before the final curtain call. It is an uplifting ending and one that will leave you smiling.
It's rare to come across a movie that brings you close to tears one moment and have you laughing with joy the next. And though it does not pretend to conquer death, it does push its characters to live life to the fullest. For all the laughter and light-hearted comedy, it is the film's portrayal of the love between the aging couple that makes this charming comedy special.
Although this is an American production, it is set in Italy, the cast is mainly Italian and it has a very Italianate feel to it. It is almost like watching an Italian film. It certainly doesn't feel like something coming out of Hollywood. "For Roseanna" was filmed in the lovely hill country around Sermoneta in central Italy. The photography is gorgeous.
New Line Home Entertainment has produced a fine DVD with a lovely transfer in the film's original 2.35:1 widescreen (anamorphic). It also includes a fullscreen pan-&-scan version. Picture quality in the widescreen version is lovely. Crisp, clear and generally clean with only very occasional nicks on the print. Colors are bright and natural. Black levels are just right. Sound is in the original English Dolby 5.1 and a dubbed Spanish Dolby 5.1. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles. Aside from the theatrical trailer there are no other extras. Still it's worth the price just to be able to watch this seldom-seen, almost unheard of little treat. It's good to know that Hollywood, in between its multi-million-dollar blockbusters, can still make such little gems."
Left With a Warm Feeling...
Vicky | 01/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""For Roseanna" is one movie I wish had been more successful. This romantic comedy makes you laugh, cry, and overall, leaves you with a warm feeling when it is over. Reno (a quirky restaurant owner "madly" in love with his ailing wife) and Ruehl (ailing wife constantly trying to calm down crazy husband) were magnificent in their roles and the story so rich with emotion and character, that I feel this is a must for anyone's video library. An "off the beaten path" movie such as this is hard to find, but once you do, you must cherish it forever. "For Roseanna" is one of those movies. You will not be disappointed."
Got a good marriage? Wish you did?
Douglas Hayes | Kuwait | 05/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For Roseanna is one of those little beautiful movies that you look for for a long time to add to your DVD collection but sadly hasn't come out yet.
Life and love. That is truely what is important. Mercedes Ruehl and Jean Reno shine as two people so madly in love with each other that they would do anything to make the other happy when all they really want is each other. If you have a good marriage (as I do) or wish you did it opens the warmth and possibility that such simple things actually exist and when you find them to grab on with both hands and cherish it.
Buy this movie. Guys. You'll even like it!"
I laughed...I cried...and laughed again
H. S. Wedekind | Pennsylvania, USA | 04/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful little gem of a romantic comedy. The actors were very good, especially Jean Reno as Marcello and Mercedes Ruehl as Roseanna. They were a perfect match and believable as a happily married couple (they even argued lovingly, if you can believe that). One of the reviewers couldn't understand why everyone spoke English everywhere except in the cemetary. I am not remotely fluent in Italian, but I think the Catholic priest was speaking Latin during the burials. It seemed fitting. At times, though, I did have some trouble understanding what some of the other actors were saying due to their heavily Italian accented English.
After reading the reviews here on amazon, I bought the DVD intending to sit down with my wife on our weekly "video viewing Staurday evening together", but couldn't resist taking a peek at the beginning of "For Roseanna." I was so entertained that I watched the entire movie by myself, though it's a fun movie to watch with someone you love."
A movie to warm your heart - and to make you laugh, as well!
Natalie | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was hunting for this movie for a long time. I am a big fan of Jean Reno and had seen the movie previously on VHS, but forgot the title and therefore had some problems tracking it down on DVD. All this was not in vain - the movie was as wonderful and sweet as I remembered it. It's very difficult to define its genre - it's a cocktail of comedy and drama, mixed together almost equally. The story seems to be a bit macabre from the first glance - Marcello (Jean Reno), the owner of a small restaurant in a sleepy little town somewhere in Italy, has promised his dying wife Roseanna (Mercedes Ruehl) that he will bury her in the old town cemetery upon her death, so she could be together with their only little daughter, who died a long time ago. Unfortunately, there are only very few plots left in the old cemetery and it can not be expanded, because the owner of the adjacent land is refusing to sell a parcel of it to accommodate the extension (mostly out of spite to Marcello, which makes negotiations even more difficult). And the new cemetery will be far away, on a hill above the town. But Marcello loves his wife very much and he's made her a promise - and so he races against time, trying to keep the town's inhabitants alive - by any means, from directing a busy Sunday traffic near the church (so nobody got hurt) to giving his blood to an old man dying at the hospital, in the vain hope this will prolong his life. His life is dedicated to this goal - but as life always has its twists and turns- not everything goes smoothly for Marcello, though in the end he will get what he wants - and more. The cast is very good, Jean Reno and Mercedes Ruehl are very natural and endearing in their roles of a loving husband and wife, who, in all the tragedy that has befallen them, still had not forgotten how to live and love and enjoy the life, whenever they can, while it lasts. I liked the supporting actors - Polly Walker in the role of Cecilia, Roseanna's independent, strong-willed sister, who is falling in love with Antonio (Mark Frankel), the nephew of Marcello's worst enemy, even as Roseanna is trying to do some matchmaking for her and Marcello, for that time when she'll be gone. Sadly, I believe this was the last movie for Mark Frankel, who did in a car accident shortly after the movie was released. The rest of the cast even in the smallest roles are adding very much to the very romantic and very Italian atmosphere of the movie. They all even speak with the accent (which might be uncomfortable for some viewers, though I personally thought it's a nice touch!). The DVD extra features are very few - a theatrical trailer, plus New Line promotional trailers and a DVD-ROM with the links to the New Line promotions. "