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The lighthearted RomCom Love & Gelato directed by Brandon Camp for which he also wrote the screenplay, based on Jenna Evans Welch’s novel, is a delightful film, now streaming on Netflix. The female protagonist Lina, played by Susanna Skaggs, opens the film on a tragic note, with her mother’s funeral being the first scene and then fulfilling a promise made to her mother, to visit Italy and her godmother Francesca (Valentina Lodovini). If you are a romantic you will love this film. If you have been on a journey of self-discovery, perhaps this movie is for you.

Love & Gelato was filmed on location in 2021 at several places in Rome and Florence, Italy. I imagine for those who have visited Italy, it is much like the experiences this writer has when watching a film shot on location that he has visited, you feel like you are back there again. The cinematography is excellent, with the grips and camera people catching the essence of motorcycles and cars speeding their way along narrow Italian streets. The architecture is breathtaking and at times the relaxed nature of the culture and people makes this North American envious.

Twenty-year-old Susanna Skaggs delivers a brilliant performance as she is transformed from being an awkward young woman who due to being her mother’s caretaker for four years had little chance to explore anything remotely resembling romance. Arriving in Italy her godmother Francesca gives her the diary Lina’s mother had kept, before Lina was born and when she had spent time in Italy. Under the tutelage of Francesca Lina grows in confidence and becomes friends with Francesca’s cousin Howard Riley played superbly by Owen McDonnell.

Nina finds herself attracted to two young suitors, Alessandro Albani (Saul Nanni), a bad boy rich kid and the quieter, more genteel Lorenzo Ferrazza, portrayed by Tobia De Angelis, an actor to keep an eye on in the future. Alessandro is charming on the surface but… Lorenzo, becomes a confidant and a friend, but is he more? American actress Anjelika Washington is Lina’s friend Addie, and at times Lina’s guiding light and at others she just creates chaos. Washington’s performance is bigger than life and in some films that can get tiring really quickly, but for this film, Addie is just what it needs.

There are plots and subplots within this film, some soul searching and plenty of self-discovery for more than one character. This story is not so much about pursuing your dreams, as perhaps letting what makes you happiest find you. The central characters Lina, Alessandro, Lorenzo and Howard all are faced with those two paths.

Some critics will say the Love & Gelato is predictable, some may say there is not a lot of depth and they may be correct on the former account, but dead wrong on the shallow part. Most people at some time in their lives will have dealt with grief, faced an overbearing, controlling parent or a career choice, or to tell what really happened many years before, or simply if it is wise to fall in love with this individual. Each of these characters has their own situation to deal with and they are different, but we are sure most of you will identify with at least one of these people. We encourage you to take one hour and fifty minutes of your time and do a little self-discovery of your own. You will laugh, you may shed a tear or two, but you will not be disappointed with Love & Gelato. Return to Our Front Page

Photo Credit: Maile Iacovelli, for Netflix, protected by copyright ©

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This review by Joe Montague published July 10th, 2022  is protected by copyright © and is the property of Riveting Riffs Magazine All Rights Reserved.  All photos are the the property of the producers of Netflix unless otherwise noted and all  are protected by copyright © All Rights Reserved. This interview may not be reproduced in print or on the internet or through any other means without the written permission of Riveting Riffs Magazine.