Love in the Villa

Netflix movie is a hard pass filled with bad acting, lackluster scenes, and is just plain dull

Romcoms are one of my favorite genres to watch in film. I adore watching two people fall in love and end with a happily-ever-after. Now, that doesn’t imply that I award every happy ending five stars. I am actually very critical when it comes to adding a movie to my five-star rating list.

Over the weekend, I watched Netflix’s newest romcom that was released on September 1st called “Love in the Villa” and I was incredibly let down. I was hoping to search for something enticing and charming but instead I was met with bad acting, lackluster scenes, and just a plain dull film. 

The movie follows Julie Hutton, a third grade English teacher who is obsessed with the story “Romeo and Juliet.” After a day of work, Julie meets her boyfriend of four years at a restaurant discussing the plans of their upcoming trip to Verona, Italy, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. However, Julie’s boyfriend decides to break up with her right before the trip leaving the choice for Julie to cancel the trip or go without him. Of course, Julie continues with her plans and goes to Verona in hopes to mend her broken heart. This all happens within the first five minutes of the movie. Then the movie becomes unbearable.

When Julie lands in Italy, she finds out that her romantic villa has been double-booked with a stuck-up wine importer, Charlie Fletcher. Immediately, the movie takes the direction of enemies-to-lovers trope. No one wants to leave and find another living arrangement, so they are forced to live together. Then majority of the movie, Julie and Charlie and playing pranks at each other trying to see who can break first and leave the villa. 

The issue I have with this movie is that tropes shouldn’t be the plot of a movie. It should guide and help shape the movie, but not be the only focus of the movie because then it creates a terribly structured film. 

In “Love in the Villa,” there was no reason for Julie and Charlie to be enemies. Sure, maybe in the beginning when they realized the villa was double-booked annoyance can come from that. But the sheer pettiness they have for each other throughout the movie is unbearable to watch. When they started to like each other, I laughed at my screen because the acting seemed so forced. 

It doesn’t help that Verona is meant to be a romantic setting, and the movie frequently alludes to “Romeo and Juliet.” Even though Charlie and Julie’s villa is directly across the street from Casa Di Giulietta, the house with the balcony that served as the inspiration for the well-known Shakespearean scene, the spirit of the famous play isn’t potent enough to create a romantic atmosphere for Julie and Charlie. The film tries desperately to draw parallels between Charlie and Julie’s journey and “Romeo and Juliet.” But unfortunately, it hardly succeeds. 

A sequel has not been announced by Netflix. It’s unlikely that this love story will have a second chance given the minimal press and low ratings the film is receiving. It’s definitely best to stick to some of the more well-known rom-coms on Netflix so you don’t waste your time and let “Love in the Villa” disappear into the depths of forgettable films on Netflix. 

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