Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Tennessee Williams' 1958 novella The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone was first filmed in 1961, with Vivien Leigh as the middle-aged title character and Warren Beatty as the callow gigolo with whom she falls in love. Since the "shocking" aspects of a May-December romance in which the woman is December have lost their punch over the years, it is perhaps wise that this 2003 made-for-cable remake is a period piece, set in the mid-'50s. Helen Mirren stars as Karen Stone, a former Broadway actress who has given up her career in favor of a secure and somewhat boring marriage to a wealthy American (Brian Dennehy). When her husband dies unexpectedly during a vacation to Italy, the widowed Mrs. Stone is desperate for companionship and affection. Through the auspices of a glamorous but somewhat seedy procurer named The Contessa (Anne Bancroft), Mrs. Stone is paired off with the studdish Paolo (Olivier Martinez), who is several years Karen's junior. What begins as merely a passionate physical attraction quickly deepens into true love -- but Mrs. Stone may be far more enamored of the mercenary Paolo than he is of her. Watching this spectacle from the sidelines is author Williams' alter ego, a wispy journalist named Christopher (Roger Allam, whose flamboyant Tennessee-isms handily steal the show). Filmed on location in Dublin and Rome, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone debuted May 4, 2003, on the Showtime cable service.
actor, aging, companion, gigolo, love, May-December-romance, widow/widower