Love and Gelato (2022)

dir. Brandon Camp

In Love and Gelato, high school graduate Lina grants her deceased mother’s wishes by visiting Italy the summer before she starts college. Cue a clichéd, cloying adventure in which she finds herself, and quite possibly true love too. Lina is the absolute peak the of frazzled rom-com “every girl” heroine archetype: she bumps into people, spouts off idiotic rambles, spontaneously falls down, and even at one point yelps out “I’m too awkward for this!”, just in case anyone in the audience still hasn’t gleaned the single note of her character. Her love interests are both pretty unappealing, while Lina’s search for her mystery father has no stakes whatsoever because the audience has no idea what impact his absence has left on Lina’s life. So why should anyone care about his presence, either? All this against the backdrop of Italy, a wonderful land where people swan about doing nothing but eating, drinking, and generally being utterly carefree. It’s all secret bakeries, magical gelato and giddy romance in Italy, it turns out. Thank you for the cultural teachings, Love and Gelato.

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