Drama R Running time: 1:51
IMDB rating: 6.5 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English, French, Spanish; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Audio: DD 5.1
A light farce dressed up as a lush 18th century costume drama, Casanova gives a fictional spin to the exploits of history's most rakish seducer of women. As played by Heath Ledger, this Casanova bears no resemblance to Donald Sutherland's unrepentant portrayal in Fellini's Casanova, filmed 30 years earlier. Instead, the great ladies' man of Venice is just biding time by bedding women, waiting for true love (and the return his long-absent mother) to settle down into blissful monogamy. He finds true love in Francesca (Sienna Miller), a feminist who initially resists Casanova's affections while director Lasse Hallstrˆm serves up a variety of lightweight subplots including Casanova's flight from the Vatican's inquisitor (Jeremy Irons); a host of mistaken identities involving, among others, the portly "Lard King of Genoa" (played with scene-stealing perfection by Oliver Platt in a blubbery fat suit); and the romantic negotiations of Francesca's mother (played by Hallstrˆmís wife, Lena Olin) and a young bumbler named Giovanni with his own promising future as a lover of women. It all adds up to a good-looking and harmless diversion that barely warrants an R-rating, and it makes a fine double-bill with the more enjoyable Dangerous Beauty, another Venetian loverís tale that was also blessed by the presence of Platt, who gives this Casanova the majority of its entertainment value.