Lottie and Rose muster the courage to rent a castle, make the break from their husbands and dear old London and travel to exotic Italy for a vacation of “just women.” They find two other women to share their castle and split expenses. During their month at this magical retreat, each discovers the ineffable “whatzit” she is looking for. All of them discover the pleasures of deep friendships with other women. The movie's main weakness is the premise that sun, flowers, Mediterranean air and, certainly, castle living, are magical restoratives strong enough to salve all social ills. But these actresses and their mates are all pleasurable to watch as they go through their paces and interact. The effect is like a day at the beach for the unbuttoned set.
This fourth Potter film is qualitatively different from the first three: It doesn’t linger on the gothic curlicues of the source material, and it emphasizes the emotional development of its characters with dramatic interplay rather than expressionistic, atmospheric gloom.