Made in Italy Parent Guide
An earnest emotional drama with welcome moments of comedy, this will please adult fans of the genre.
Parent Movie Review
Jack (Micheál Richardson) has been happily married for years, managing the art gallery his wife’s family owns. Times are changing: the in-laws are planning to sell the gallery, and will not be his in-laws for long, as his wife Ruth (Yolanda Kettle) has filed for divorce. Determined to stay involved in the art world, Jack turns to his estranged father Robert (Liam Neeson), himself a painter of some renown. But it isn’t art Jack wants. He and his father each own half of his late mother’s (Helena Anonio) family home in Tuscany, and Jack plans to sell the house to buy the gallery from Ruth’s family. Although getting his father to Italy seems difficult, Jack doesn’t realize exactly how much work is going to have to go into the house to make it marketable. With the house in terrible disrepair, the relationship with his father in similar condition, and a number of weasels living in the cabinetry, Jack soon finds that this quick sell is going to take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears – and he only has one month to come up with the capital he needs…
Made in Italy is marketed as a comedy, which is fair – there are a few light-hearted laughs along the way (thanks in no small part to the aforementioned weasels), but I think it’s better described as a family drama. The comedic elements are necessary, but the main focus of the story is the relationship between Jack and Robert, and their attempts to work together following decades of estrangement following Jack’s mother’s death. It’s a surprisingly sincere film, with Neeson and Richardson both putting in some deeply emotional performances to bring their familial tragedy to life. It’s a moving film, but probably not a great choice if you’re looking for a fun pick-me-up popcorn flick.
However you choose to describe the genre, the movie is surprisingly clean. In fact, were it not for the language, it would have come in at a PG-13 rather than an R-rating. The profanity is the only real issue, and nearly a dozen “f-bombs” mean that this isn’t the kind of film you’re going to sit down and watch with grandma. Or, at least not my grandma. Your grandparents may be more ok with cussing than mine.
Italy seems to be getting a lot of screen time lately – not undeservedly, as the natural beauty on display is stunning. Even the dilapidated family home has a lonely, shabby chic sort of charm. But beyond the scenery and jokes, what you’ve got here is a family tragedy with enduring consequences and a serious failure to communicate between father and son. Watching that get fixed up along with the house makes watching Made in Italy feel worthwhileDirected by James D'Arcy. Starring Liam Neeson, Michael Richardson, and Valeria Bilello.. Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release August 7, 2020. Updated August 13, 2020
Watch the trailer for Made in Italy
Made in Italy
Rating & Content Info
Why is Made in Italy rated R? Made in Italy is rated R by the MPAA for language
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 11 uses of a sexual expletive, four scatological curses, and occasional use of minor profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown drinking socially, occasionally to excess.
Page last updated August 13, 2020
Made in Italy Parents' Guide
It can be difficult to deal with grief. How do each of the characters respond to tragedy or misfortune? What are the consequences of those choices? What do their choices tell us about how they see their circumstances?
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Another (significantly worse) movie about artists in Italy is The Burnt Orange Heresy, which stars Elizabeth Debicki, Claes Bang, Mick Jagger, and Donald Sutherland – all of whom deserved a better movie. From the Vine follows a lawyer who quits his job and moves to Italy, planning to start up a vineyard. A young woman finds love on a trip to Italy in Letters to Juliet.
For more emotionally fraught British family drama, Sometimes Always Never delivers with more than a standard serving of quirkiness. If that isn’t enough for you, it also stars Bill Nighy, which ought to help. Liam Neeson shows his emotional depth in another relationship drama: Ordinary Love features Neeson as a man whose wife is diagnosed with breast cancer.