A Month by the Lake is a thoroughly enjoyable love story set at an Italian resort by Lake Como in 1937. When Miss Bentley, a spinster and regular at the hotel, first meets Major Wilshaw, an English factory owner, she is immediately attracted to him. However, her behavior quirks and superior talents on the tennis court throw him off balance. He decides to pursue Miss Beaumont, a young American working as a nanny for an Italian couple.

Vanessa Redgrave gives a multi-splendored characterization of the patient and creative Miss Bentley, a woman convinced that this is her last chance for marital happiness. Edward Fox is delightful as the stuffy major — a workaholic who under the Italian sun learns to let himself go. And Uma Thurman is just right as the flirtatious American who turns out to be Miss Bentley's surprising ally. There are many lessons to be learned in the school of love. A Month by the Lake delivers some good ones.