Our Love and Gelato Review is Better Than the Movie Itself

July 24

Love and Gelato Review — In this funny coming-of-age story, a mother's dying wish leads her daughter to retrace her trip to Rome.

The process by which Netflix turns books into movies is probably the best of all streaming services. "Love & Gelato" comes from Jenna Evans Welch's romance novel about a young woman named Lina who loses her mother to cancer right before she starts college. Her last wish was for Lina to go to Italy, a place that changed her, with her or without her. She wanted Lina's life to move forward with the help of the experience that would always be important to her.

love and gelato

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Lina is the type who is shy and worried. This is the type of girl who knows too much about books and would rather read about life than live it. When Lin gets there, she meets Francesca, who is her mother's cousin and very outgoing (Valentina Lodovini). She introduces her to Howard, an old friend of her mother who is played by Owen McDonnell on Killing Eve. Francesca gives Lina her mother's journal, which was also one of her mother's last wishes. Lina reads a little bit of the diary every day, even though she could have read it all in one night. How else could the story be told in 90 minutes?

The setting of "Love & Gelato" is the first thing that strikes you when you see it. It takes place in Rome, the place where all great movie heartbreaks happen. The city has a good mix of modern luxuries and historical landmarks that tell its story. We go to places that have never been seen on screen before. Under lights that flicker, it looks even more vivid.

Lina's mother wrote in her diary that the city whispers back to you to help you get to know yourself better. Even though we love seeing its many artifacts on the screen, the movie can't get away from one truth. In romcoms, the next, and usually last, step can usually be seen from a mile away. 'Love & Gelato' is no different.

The only things that make these genre movies stand out are how the characters are portrayed and how the story is told. Love & Gelato doesn't have either of them, though.

Popular personality tropes like the nerdy girl who has never had a boyfriend and knows a lot of useless facts about things off the top of her head are used again, as is the rich, good-looking, but kind boy whose parents expect too much of him.

The way the story of self-discovery is told in the book, which is full of life and humor, is lost in the movie adaptation by director Brandon Camp. He instead goes for an artless, happy, and funny tone that has become as common in movies as instant coffee is for people who work all day and have no time for anything else.

The repetition is especially frustrating because a more honest attempt to get to the real heart of the book could have led to something very different. Howard tells Lina that they will "retrace" her mother's steps. This is the most important and strange part of the premise. Her relationship with and likeness to her mother should have been the center of the story. Everything else should have been built around that. Instead, it is pushed to the sidelines and stuck in an old, rusty diary.

Then there's Alessandro, whose character keeps getting more self-centered and manipulative in order to get what he wants from Lin, which is physical and emotional closeness. He gives her false hope at every turn. After short dates, he says he wants a serious relationship, but then he cheats on her the next day. It's the kind of person who turns you off, and any young woman should see red flags right away.

I know this is a small production, so there must be some limits, but for a film like this, capturing not just the sights and sounds of Rome, but the food, is the secret weapon. Even though there is only one big dinner scene, this could have been a feast for the eyes and works well for audiences in general. This could have been used to build on the little bit of romance and chemistry you see. Exactly when Lorenzo and Lin briefly mix the gelato together and when we meet the young man's sweet grandmother.