I recently saw an article about a young woman who traveled to France to visit all the filming locations from the movie Amelie, and I thought, wow, what a cool idea. Where would I go if I were going to do that? Well, I’m glad you asked, I would go to . . .
1. Portofino, Italy, to visit Castello Brown, the castle where Enchanted April was filmed.
Why Castello Brown? Because if Rose and Lottie had not rented this castle in Italy, it would have been “Vaguely Oppressive April” rather than “Enchanted April.” The central conceit of the book (and the movie) is that they are categorically not the same people there–the place transforms them. Rose intuits this most of all, which is why barely a week into her stay she sends for her husband Mellersh, even though Mellersh in large part is precisely what drove her to flee London in the first place. Eventually, the others come to share this belief. At that point, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg quetion as to how much of the transformation owes to Castello Brown itself and how much to an expectation of change that leads them to respond differently to one another. The latter is more hopeful, of course, because it means those of us who can’t go to Castello Brown can instead bring Castello Brown to us. Yeah, phooey on that. I want to go to Castello Brown.