In 1920s England, four disparate women (previously unknown to each other) agree to share a villa on the coast of Italy for the month of April. Two (the comedienne Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson) are unhappy housewives, the third a society beauty (Polly Walker) and the fourth a lonely widow (Joan Plowright in an Oscar nominated performance). There's something irresistible about the fantasy of a peaceful villa on the Mediterranean surrounded by flowers and fauna and nothing to do but explore and lie in the sun and the film plays on those daydreams. By the end of the film, all four women who came to the villa with their problems have solved them and the future appears fresh and hopeful. The film has a similar effect on the viewer. Mike Newell (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) directed this second film adaptation (the first was 1935) of the Elizabeth van Arnim's 1922 novel. Richard Rodney Bennett did the muted score. With Jim Broadbent (the film's one weak performance), Alfred Molina and Michael Kitchen.