Enchanted April

Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.” — Ellis Peters

Who doesn’t love an early spring? This year, at least in Michigan, April has been unseasonably kind and beautiful. Our daffs and tulips are blooming, and best of all, moods are lifting as we spend more time outdoors.

But I can’t let the month slip away without recommending a favorite indoor ritual. Even if you’ve already seen it, go rent Enchanted April.  I’ve enjoyed this little gem of a film so much over the years that I’ve shared it with my women’s group, and even organized a “girlfriends’ movie night” around it.

Adapted from Elizabeth von Arnim’s 1922 novel of the same title, the award-winning film revolves around four British women — unlikely friends, all — who meet in Italy to spend an April holiday in a secluded castle-like villa with a lush garden and a view of the Portofino coast. Each character has a back story, of course, and as the film progresses, we discover how retreating to a special place can help us rekindle relationships, heal old wounds, and see things anew. And in this gorgeous film, the location competes with the characters for attention.

On an anniversary trip five years ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to tour Castello Brown, the small castle and surrounding property where Enchanted April was filmed. It was every bit as magical as the film itself, and I enjoyed exploring the gardens while recalling my favorite scenes.

Arranging a bouquet of flowers I’d purchased from the grocery this week, I remembered a key moment from the beginning of the film.

It’s the scene in which the emotionally bankrupt Mellersh Wilkins (played by Alfred Molina) scolds his depressed wife Lottie (Josie Lawrence) for buying a bouquet of fresh flowers for the dining table, declaring it “an extravagance of the most blatant kind.” At that moment, Lottie starts to realize it’s time to claim a little joy for herself. As the story unfolds, we’re all reminded that a few indulgences are essential to our well-being and can be downright transforming. — Cindy La Ferle

11 thoughts on “Enchanted April

  1. Oh , I will. Thank you for this .
    I am usually rather so so on the films people seem to like, but I certainly hold your shout out in high regard.

    And spring is a blessing. I am filling myself to the core with it.

    I hope you are too.

    Have a great weekend, Cindy. I will mostly be inside at a volleyball tournament, but these are the moments right?

  2. Enchanted April sounds like just the kind of film I love. Am asking Denny to put it in his Netflix cue. Thanks for the hint.

    And I’m glad to hear you’re having an early spring. You had such a brutal winter…and spring breathes soft.

  3. Spring makes me feel that all is possible. The window is wide open and the kitties and I are enjoying the beautiful Michigan weather. The dogs and I have already had our walk to see what has bloomed since yesterday morning.

    I checked Netflix immediately, but unfortunately Enchanted April is not captioned. The next best (or perhaps the best) step is to check the Rochester library. Yes, they have a copy of Enchanted April but I had to place a hold.

    It is always fun to have a book on hold… you never know when you are going to have a treat! Thanks for the suggestion Cindy.

  4. I think you’ll all enjoy this special film — and btw, my husband enjoyed it too. (Alfred Molina is terrific as one of the husbands.) Mary Ellen — try Blockbuster, as I’ve rented it there in the past before I purchased my copy.

  5. Cindy, I haven’t seen that movie in ages! What a wonderful idea to reconnect with it. I have made a conscious effort to stop and notice and be grateful for spring. The color and scent of the flowers, the clear sky, bird song… it’s all a gift I need to appreciate more. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  6. I watched this film not long ago on your recommendation on one of the posts I wrote about movies. It is itself enchanting. The scene that you describe touched me deeply and drew me into the movie. I couldn’t imagine how the relationship issues would be resolved, yet the stories unfold and intertwine beautifully ~ the perfect April film.

  7. Thanks for the reminder Cindy– I LOVED this movie but haven’t rented it in a long time.

    Indulgences ARE essential to our well-being and I say flowers are a great place to start– They can’t help but make you smile.

    Glad winter is finally past. Enjoy the colors of spring.


  8. Cindy, I must say every time I intuitively land on your writer’s poetry corner page, I smile so hugely I wish I could snap a photo of my heart, my intrigue and my passionate gratitude moments here, to truly say ‘thank-you’ and let you know how much it matters to me! You have been so pivotal in helping me return to my poetry love from years ago. I just love your simple notes and the quotes are like a dance for my very soul! Thank you Thank you Thank you!
    I love the tidbit you said about flower from the store, I often walk by them and place my hand gently over their cool petals and smile, but rarely buy them. I feel I need a reason or it would be to spoil too much. I ache for that luxury to be an essential in my life. Still getting to that point where I lose the guilt. I like what you shared from that movie about “She starts to realize it’s time to claim a little joy for herself.” and your reminder that “a few indulgences are essential to our well-being and can be downright transforming.” I enter a new season of soul-nourishment and certainly that means buying myself more flowers! 😉 woo! and what inspiration you are as I see you did just that! hugs, Jenn

  9. Cindy, this is one of my favorite movies. I saw it years ago when it came out, and I rented it so many times that my husband begged me to buy it instead of throwing the money away on renting. So glad that I did. I love it!

  10. this is my all time favorite movie. it is the only one i saw more than once in the theatre, and then saw many times on tv and video. its magic makes life a bit more gentle for a while. i highly recommend it.

  11. My favorite of all time. Each time my wife and I
    watch it we travel to Lake Como and can feel
    our hearts opening as the beautiful scenery captures our imaginations while intimate and lovely
    relationships develop and unnecessary walls between people melt into the April air.

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