Netflix may be the only “mainstream” production company really putting out romantic comedies, and one of these is Love in the Villa. A destination romance that does have moments, but… maybe not much else.
Love in the Villa (2022) Netflix Film Review
With Romeo and Juliet as her most favorite romance and a long-standing plan to see Verona, Julie (Kat Graham) is finally going. She gets to share it with her long-term boyfriend, too, which makes it more romantic. Dreams die when he tells her they should take space. With encouragement from her bestie, Julie decides to go solo. Disaster travel sets the mood for her arrival in Verona when she finds the villa she rented is doubled booked. Inside resides Charlie Fletcher (Tom Hopper), an annoying British man who isn’t altogether unfortunate to look at.🌹💘💋‘LOVE IN THE VILLA’: MEDIOCRE ITALIAN SET NETFLIX ROMANCE 💋💘🌹KAT GRAHAM & #TOMHOPPER CO-STAR IN THIS #NETLIX COMEDY. #MOVIES #NEWMOVIES #ROMCOM Click To Tweet
Ever since Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we seem to love the dueling romancers trope. Love in the Villa plays this with new heights likely to help sell the whole Romeo and Juliet vibe. While this trope can be funny, this film does not do it well. Arguably we can debate which of the pranks is meanest, but I don’t think any prank should go so far as to affect physically, one that the person pulling the prank knows about. That’s a little too far no matter how “minor” the reaction is.
Beyond this, I also don’t care for how the aftermath is handled. The writer puts Charlie into this corner of I’m-all-wrong-and-you’re-fine apology scenario without having Julie reciprocate. In this scenario, they both earned and need to give sincere apologies. As a result, there should be equal apology and shared regret. Instead, it doesn’t read this way. In other ways, Charlie is always the wrong one, and this just doesn’t sit right. Overall, they feud most of the time plus the way Julie acts after the big “reveal” is off putting. I also didn’t love the “connection” between the characters, so there is that too.
Like anything in this genre, Love in the Villa has those sweet moments. But in a bigger picture, overall feeling, this one just isn’t the “it” film of its genre. I don’t dislike either of the actors, but I don’t think they work all that well together. It is fun that one character is Hopper’s real life wife. I do love the more girly and feminine styling of Julie even if I don’t love every ensemble she wears. There’s also a really sweet sentiment that Charlie expresses that is unusual for most films. That speech alone highlights the scene because it’s more unique.
Bottom line, this most definitely isn’t a favorite of mine. Passable, but not memorable. It’s cute in some moments, especially in the second half of the film, it just doesn’t do well with inspiring warm fuzzies. Instead, I’d recommend something like A Perfect Pairing.
You can stream Love in the Villa on Netflix.
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Content: there is some minor suggestive humor. A character pulls a prank that physically affects someone (knowing about their allergy). One character is in a same sex relationship (you’ll see this only once). The film is TV-14, but could have been PG.