Hollywood loves some clichés, especially in romantic comedies. Taking a disillusioned woman on a tour of Italy, where she finds love, is a script that has been re-recorded to exhaustion and the reason is that, like pizza, everyone loves it. In times of a lot of adventure and fantasy dominating platforms, taking this little trip and waiting for fate to act is delicious escapism, when you let yourself go. Love in the Villa is another one of those bets that Netflix has made available this month.
It is impossible to see the film and not draw parallels with Letters to Juliet, from 2010 (available until Sunday on Amazon Prime Video). The two films use the romantic Verona as a backdrop, discuss whether there really is “destiny” and parade an hour of an idyllic setting that makes us want to fly to Italy immediately. (there is the warning)
Medieval and beautiful Verona (a UNESCO world heritage site), located in northern Italy, in the Veneto region – as lovers know – is where Romeo and Juliet lived, according to William Shakespeare’s version. The play has already yielded several versions for the cinema and, at the same time, created a script specifically for the romantics. I have already visited. It is, unsurprisingly, beautiful. As the English bard’s text is definitive, many have always visited the city trying to identify where the action would have taken place, looking for the balcony where one of the most iconic love scenes took place, and so on. Therefore, a 13th-century house, which belonged to a family called Dal Capello, the Cappelletti, seemed close to Juliet’s surname – Capulet – and the address became a pilgrimage point.
A statue that has been sexually abused for centuries (tradition demands to touch Juliet’s right breast to make a wish) and the lovers leave letters on the walls, asking for the character’s help. And the letters have been answered for 50 years when a group of volunteers created Club Di Giulietta, which tries to give a word of hope to romantics (there is even a Brazilian in the group).
But taking that giant turn, let’s get back to Love in the Villa, Netflix’s new romantic comedy.
Unpretentious, it is aimed at fans of an unlikely love story, of the hand of fate uniting two hearts from distant countries. It’s a collection of clichés where the couple hates each other, then falls in love and all the cultural prejudices are on the screen, but if you like love stories, it works. Kat Graham and Tom Hopper are the unlikely couple of the moment, they take a little while to get going, but it’s fun without compromise. Minimally they take us to the most beautiful spots in Verona and Italy, it’s always beautiful.
And warning, you end up wanting to see more of Verona and compare it to Letters to Juliet. The best story of the 2010 film for me is that Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero‘s reunion in real life is similar to what they experience on screen. The two are the supporting characters, whose letter from the 1950s is found by Amanda Seyfried and inspires her to bring them together again. There wasn’t quite a letter, but the actors lived a similar love. That’s right, they, fell in love in 1966, separated in 1969, met again in 2006, and got married, when they were over 60 years old. They are still together and in love. And who doesn’t believe in destiny?