A Room with a View:
A captivating romance film
Directed by James Ivory A Room with a View is a British romance film
adapted to the screen based on E. M. Forster’s novel of the same title.
The story begins with Miss Lucy Honeychurch an English woman from a
village in Surrey who goes on holiday in Italy with her much older
cousin and chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett. Charlotte is very stringently
English in her outlooks and traditionalism.
She is extremely restrictive and tends to get her way by expressing
her emotions to the effect of manipulating others. Lucy comes from an
upper class but loving and easygoing household, and had fewer
inhibitions, which creates a strong tension between herself and
The cultural landscape these two women find themselves in is the more
free-thinking and free-spirited backdrop of Italy. In the guesthouse
they stay at Lucy meets such people as Reverend Beebe, the two Miss
Alans, and the author Miss Eleanor Lavish, but most importantly, the
free thinking Emerson and his handsome, philosophical son, George, who
becomes friends with Charlotte.
These men, although also English, represent the forward-thinking,
progressive ideals of the turn-of-the-century, seeking to leave behind
the repression and caution that was the norm in Victorian times.
Initially, the Emersons seem strange and unfamiliar to Lucy and
Charlotte. They seem sincere but unaware of finer upper class Victorian
manners. Emerson offers to switch rooms with the women, who desire a
room with a view.
Charlotte is offended, believing him to be rude and tactless for what
she perceives to be indebting them with his offer.
As Lucy begins her journey to maturity, she finds herself drawn to
George due to his mysterious thinking and freely expressed emotions.
Several people staying at the guesthouse take a carriage ride in the
country, this event proves to be quite crucial to the young Lucy.
Scenes from the film
A mischievous Italian driver gets back at Charlotte by misdirecting
an unsupervised Lucy to George in a barley field as he admires the view.
George suddenly embraces and passionately kisses Lucy as she approaches
Charlotte has followed Lucy, witnesses the act, and quickly stops the
intimacy. George’s unreserved passion shocks Lucy, but also lights a
secret desire and romance in her heart.
Charlotte suggests George kissing her was the act of a rake.
Charlotte makes reference to a heartbreak from her youth that
occurred the same way and has behaved accordingly with disgust and anger
Charlotte uses guilt to persuade Lucy to secrecy to save both their
reputations as a young lady and a chaperone, but it is mostly for her
It is then expressed that normally, if a young man kissed a young
lady, an engagement should be announced to preserve her reputation, but
Charlotte considers George to be an undesirable influence.
Upon returning to England, Lucy tells her mother nothing and pretends
to forget the incident.
She accepts a marriage proposal from a wealthy and respectable but
snobbish man named Cecil Vyse.
However, she soon learns that both George and his father have moved
to her small village and will be her neighbours due to a letter from
Cecil Vyse inviting them to reside in an empty cottage.
The sudden appearance of George soon disrupts Lucy’s plans and causes
her suppressed feelings to resurface. Lucy consistently refuses George’s
pursuit of her, but however breaks off her engagement to Cecil, and
makes plans to visit Greece.
George has also decided that he must move for peace of mind and makes
arrangements. Lucy stops by Reverend Beebe’s and is confronted by
George’s father before they are to leave town.
She suddenly realises that the only reason that she planned to travel
was to escape her feelings for George. What is finally shown in this
captivating romance film is that the young lovers are at the end united
since the viewer is shown George and Lucy in the Italian guesthouse
where they initially met, in that fateful room with the view.