Love & Gelato parents guide

Love & Gelato Parent Guide

The film feels like a romance cliché coated in marinara sauce and sprinkled with dried out parmesan from a shaker. It’s pretty to look at but there’s no flavor.

Overall C

Netflix: In accordance to her mother's dying wish, Lina heads off to Tuscany to spend summer with her father. Although she is reluctant to be there, she soon begins to discover the sweet secrets of Italy, and finds herself falling in love with a little more than gelato.

Release date June 22, 2022

Violence A
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Love & Gelato rated TV-14? The MPAA rated Love & Gelato TV-14 for language, and suggestive dialogue.

Run Time: 110 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Lina (Susanna Skaggs) has just buried her mother – in a pumpkin-spice themed funeral – and now faces another daunting task. Hadley and Lina had always planned on taking a mother/daughter graduation trip to Italy and Lina is committed to carrying out her mother’s wishes. Settled in Rome with her Italian godmother (Valentina Lodovini), Lina meets two young men: Alessandro (Saul Nanni) is the scion of a wealthy banking family and Lorenzo (Tobia De Angelis) is an aspiring chef. As the genre demands, the gauche, awkward young woman finds herself being pursued by both men, meaning she has a choice to make.

Romantic dramas rarely achieve anything cinematically. They tend to be predictable, with stock characters and pre-ordained happy endings. Love & Gelato doesn’t break that mold. The film feels like a romance cliché coated in marinara sauce and sprinkled with dried out parmesan from a shaker. It’s pretty to look at but there’s no flavor. Seriously, the movie’s backgrounds are glorious, with scenes of Rome and Florence that could have been funded by Italian tourism agencies. Unfortunately, the production’s good looks are no substitute for its bland personality. Lead actress Susanna Skaggs has a limited range of facial expressions, which soon get tedious, and both of her swains simply spend a lot of time staring wistfully at her. Frankly, the biggest mystery in the entire film revolves around the source of Alessandro and Lorenzo’s fascination with Lina. I’m all in favor of the nerdy girl getting the guy, but Lina has a cringeworthy habit of throwing emotional hissy fits in public. She doesn’t check to make sure she has all the details; she simply goes off the rails and throws a tantrum when she’s angry or disappointed. Why two men are interested in a neurotic, anxiety-ridden foreigner with emotional regulation issues is never completely clear, especially since there’s no chemistry in the romantic scenes. There’s no sex, which parents will appreciate, but there’s no “zing” either, which makes this movie feel flat.

When it comes to negative content, the biggest issue in the film is profanity, with over 60 swear words and crude terms in the movie. There are minor kissing scenes (including one between two women who are married to each other) and frequent mentions of an affair that causes a pregnancy. In addition, alcohol is consumed in most social events and a main character becomes intoxicated while upset. Strangely, the movie also has two scenes where a main character steals valuable objects, and that decision is justified in the script. On the plus side, the script advocates self-acceptance, courage, exploring your talents, and standing up for yourself.

At one point in the film, Lorenzo tells a depressed Lina that “Everything is better after gelato.” It’s possible that might apply to this film – maybe it’s more fun to watch after ingesting large quantities of gelato. Whether or not you want to find out depends on your fondness for decadent desserts and your willingness to risk spending 110 minutes of your life rolling your eyes and sighing over predictable plot points.

Directed by Brandon Camp. Starring Susanna Skaggs, Tobia De Angelis, and Owen McDonnell.. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release June 22, 2022. Updated

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Love & Gelato
Rating & Content Info

Why is Love & Gelato rated TV-14? Love & Gelato is rated TV-14 by the MPAA for language, and suggestive dialogue.

Violence:   There are scenes of reckless driving.
Sexual Content: There are scenes of men and women kissing. There is a scene of two women who are married to each other kissing. A woman uses “orgasm” to describe food.
Profanity: The movie contains over 60 profanities, including two sexual expletives, 30 terms of deity, 15 minor profanities, and six scatological curses. The movie also contains a dozen crude anatomical terms and a homophobic slur. Crude terms for women are also used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult tells a young man to get drunk. Characters drink wine: it’s unclear if they are 18 years old yet and one of them, a main character, gets drunk.

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Love & Gelato Parents' Guide

What did Hadley learn on her visit to Rome? How are those lessons relevant to Lina? How does learning about her mother’s past affect the way Lina sees herself and the choices she makes about her own future?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

For another romance set in Italy, you can try Letters to Juliet. In this tale, an engaged woman meets women in Verona who volunteer to answer letters written to the fictional Juliet. While there, she also encounters an elderly British woman and her handsome grandson.

When in Rome features a woman who’s unlucky in love…until she fishes some coins out of a reputed “fountain of love”. The Trevi Fountain is the key to romance for three American women in Three Coins in the Fountain.

Another romance set in the last summer before university is Along for the Ride, featuring a highly focused young woman who meets a fellow insomniac haunted by his past.

A young woman learns about her father and undergoes a personal transformation in The Princess Diaries.