Romance and food often go hand in hand, you needn’t look any further than Valentine’s Day. You go out for a lovely meal, or a secluded dinner for two, with a box of chocolates for accompaniments. How you then spend the evening is up to you, but for the annual holiday, food does play a big part in the day’s festivities. In 2018, a romantic comedy took a Romeo and Juliet-inspired setting to the Italian backdrop of the pizzeria, proving that food can be the language of love in Little Italy.
Leo and Nikki grew up in the vibrant Italian neighbourhood of Toronto, embracing their heritage and all that it brings. They work for their father’s Pizzeria However, the times have changed, The fathers have split up, forming two pizza restaurants. Nikki has the beginnings of a very bright future in the culinary world, but as she returns to her hometown to prepare, old flames are reignited. As the bickering pizza chains come to blows, and the interpersonal dramas come to life, that is found in the district that bares the name Little Italy.
The opening narration is a cute touch that does a lot to set up the characters and the supposed stakes. If you are a fan of romcoms, you’d have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Even then, Little Italy does have its inventive moments to help spice up its 100-minute run time. From a supposedly romantic reunion match of football out in the pouring rainstorm to Andrea Martin as Franca’s attempts at remarriage. Along with seeing the bickering antics of the two rival pizzerias, amongst the dark deep secret at the root cause of their division down to the loser-leaves-town pizza cook-off, makes Little Italy an interesting proposition.
In case, you skipped on films like Shattered Glass, Hayden Christensen is a consummate actor and his presence in this film is a great boon. Trading on his charm and screen presence to be a good leading man for a film like this. You might also know Emma Roberts from her hilarious roles in Scream Queens and select seasons of American Horror Story, and will be pleased to know that she manages to adapt well to the straight rom-com. With even the likes of Alyssa Milano and Jane Seymour joining in on the action, Little Italy is a film loaded with good talent.
Little Italy delivers exactly what you’d expect from the box, a modern spin on a faithfully Napoli-inspired tradition. Familiar faces, that you may have written off, do a lot to add a hint of spice to a familiar topic. The result is a comforting film that might leave a surprise or two. If you’re still in the mood for a Valentine’s treat, maybe Pizza will be on the menu tonight.
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