Love in the Villa Parent Guide
This duo are so unrelentingly cruel to each other that it's hard to cheer for their eventual relationship.
Parent Movie Review
Julie (Kat Graham) just can’t buy a break. Her boyfriend dumps her right before their romantic vacation to Verona, Italy. The trans-Atlantic flight is terrible, complete with a storm, a screaming toddler, and lost luggage. And when Julie finally arrives at her House-N-Host villa, she discovers that the apartment has been double-booked. Charlie Fletcher (Tom Hopper) is standing in the kitchen in his underwear, convinced that the unit is his for the week. Every hotel room in the area is occupied for a wine festival, so the two of them are going to have to find a way to live together…at least temporarily.
This is where the story goes off the rails. A bit of animosity would be expected as would some witty banter. What this script serves up instead is bitter rancor and outright cruelty as the two visitors try to force each other out. (Deliberately triggering a serious allergic reaction and publicizing diary entries are two of the nastier stunts.) Viewers know this is supposed to be a romance, but the hostility between the main characters makes any future relationship feel decidedly unpleasant.
In fact, entire film fails to be pleasant, let alone fun or swoon-worthy. It’s hard to root for people who have shown such nasty sides of their personalities. (There’s an ickiness here; it’s like hoping people will reunite after an episode of domestic assault). It’s also difficult to get emotionally involved in a couple who have so little on-screen chemistry. Yearning glances, bulging biceps, and colorful dresses just aren’t enough to fill the emotional hole at the center of this production.
Perhaps the only bright spot is that Love in the Villa is relatively light on negative content, aside from a cask full of wine. There are a few mild swear words, a very little bit of kissing, some dresses with cleavage, and lots and lots of alcohol consumption. Characters drink wine in every conceivable situation and get tipsy or flat out drunk on a few occasions. Frankly, what I found more annoying than the negative content was the script’s reliance on stereotypes. The story features a reckless Italian driver, an adulterous Italian landlord, an emotionally repressed Englishman, a gay best friend, a self-absorbed fashion model, and a woman who intimidates men by being overly-organized. None of these characters break out of the molds into which they have been pushed, which means the story simply plods along its well-trodden path to its unsurprising (and profoundly uninteresting) conclusion.
I enjoy romantic dramas but I can’t summon up any enthusiasm for Love in the Villa. I suppose if you’re a fan of Tom Hopper or if you enjoy Kat Graham’s high-wattage smile, this could work as a mindless way to kill an evening. But, honestly, if you’re that tired, going to bed early is probably the better choice. With any luck, your dreams will offer some unexpected surprises. This movie definitely won’t.Directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Starring Tom Hopper, Kat Graham, Laura Hopper. Running time: 114 minutes. Theatrical release September 1, 2022. Updated September 2, 2022
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Love in the Villa
Rating & Content Info
Why is Love in the Villa rated TV-14? Love in the Villa is rated TV-14 by the MPAA for language.
Violence: There are scenes of reckless driving. A man drops a dead mouse in a snake’s cage. Main characters threaten each other. Adults throw food and kitchenware at each other.
Sexual Content: Ostensibly following tradition, people touch the breast of a female statue and make a wish. There are scenes of men and women kissing. A married man alludes to his girlfriend.
Profanity: The movie contains about a dozen profanities, including terms of deity, anatomical expressions, and minor swear words.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink wine alone and in social situations. A man tastes wine as part of his job. Main characters drink lots of wine and become mildly intoxicated. A character gets very drunk.
Page last updated September 2, 2022
Love in the Villa Parents' Guide
If you were Julie’s friend, what kind of advice would you have given her about sharing the apartment? How else do you think Julie and Charlie could have resolved their problem? What do they learn about each other that changes their perspectives on each other?
Related home video titles:
Also set in Italy, Letters to Juliet brings a young woman to Verona where she meets a young man taking his grandmother on a pilgrimage to find a lost love.
In Love & Gelato, a young grad goes to Italy alone following the death of her mother. With the help of her godmother, some friends, and a couple of handsome young men, she finds a new path forward.
Kat Graham stars in another romantic drama, Operation Christmas Drop, in which she plays a congressional aide determined to axe a military base – until she becomes involved in its Christmas project.