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Movie Review: Casanova

Alternate Title: Fakes, Rakes and Romps

Story: If you want a fluffy break from the winter doldrums check out this loosely based version of the life and loves of Casanova. Director Lasse Hallstrom must have had a great time working on this cotton candy version of Venice in 1753. He gives us a handsome Casanova, willing 'victims', a Catholic Church on a mission to blot out heretics and fornicators, great costumes, a broad supporting cast and a number of belly laughs.

Is this a must see? Absolutely not. But Venice is always gorgeous and there is nothing wrong with just sitting back, eating some popcorn and being entertained.

Acting: Heath Ledger is now on my list of favorites. After seeing him in Brokeback Mountain and then seeing this fluff piece, he can do no wong. Kudos to him. Sienna Miller was fine as his true love. Lena Olin (Hallstrom's wife is always wonderful). Oliver Platt was hilarious as the King of Lard. Jeremy Irons looked like he had the best time as the Church's Inquisitor and a special nod to Omid Djalili as Casanova's servant.

Predilection: I like period pieces.

Critters: Pigs, cats and dogs.

Food: Too busy lovin' and runnin' to eat.

Theater Audience: About 12 happy ladies.

Drift Factor: I started to look at my watch after an hour. Oh oh.

Predictability Level: Higher than high

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. For some other Lasse Hallstrom films, how about: The Shipping News, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, Something to Talk About and the very terrific What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Length: about two hours.