Love & Gelato
Book-based coming-of-age tale has grief, swearing.
No reviews yet.Add your rating
Based on 7 reviews
Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.
Love & Gelato
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Love & Gelato is a romantic coming-of-age dramedy based on Jenna Evans Welch's bestselling YA novel. Raised by a single mother who has recently died, a grieving and fearful high school graduate (Susanna Skaggs) travels to Italy before college. There she meets her mom's best friends, learns her father's identity, finds romance, and grows out of her fears. Language includes one "f--k" and a peppering of other words like "s--t," "pr--k," "penis," "ass," "hell," "damn," "bastard, "bitch," "suck," "screw," "dork," "dyke," "slut," and more. Teens kiss and drink wine.
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
At her mother's deathbed, awkward teen Lina (Susanna Skaggs) promises to go alone on the high school graduation trip to Italy that the two had planned together in LOVE & GELATO. That's where 18 years before, her mom had learned about life and love, got pregnant, and left behind her first love. Mom's best friend Francesca (Valentina Lodovini), an extroverted fashion consultant, hosts the over-cautious Lina and embarks on a program to loosen the girl up and set her fears aside. Howard (Owen McDonnell), another of Mom's close friends, pitches in as well. Eventually, as Lina reads the diary of her mother's youth, she finds the courage to confront her absentee father and feels comfortable enough in her own skin to enjoy kissing two boys. Her transformation into something resembling an adult continues as she stops running from life and starts to enjoy friends, scenery, and fantastico gelato.
Is It Any Good?
If the objective of Love & Gelato was to display every romantic coming-of-age movie cliché known to man, it succeeded. Better movies in this category have provided guides to growing up, but a miscast lead, poor direction, and mediocre writing overshadow any such attempt here. Instead, it's a compendium of commonplace. The cute couple roaming cobbled streets, feeding each other local delicacies from mom-and-pop markets? It's here. Stunning Italian scenery? Here, too, but rendered a dull series of lifeless familiar postcards: marble statues in wind-blown piazzas, loud scooters dodging angry bad drivers. In the guise of wisdom, banal platitudes and worn-out chestnuts are offered by elders, an effervescent best friend, and earnest suitors. "Everything is better after gelato." "I have this weird feeling this [camera] might completely change my life." "I've never had anyone worth trusting me." What does that last one even mean?
Perhaps it isn't absurd that an 18-year-old woman would need lessons to walk in high-heeled shoes, but Skaggs simply isn't equipped with the comic timing to make the clumsiness amusing or real. And who exactly is Lina? The girl who is afraid of heights, crowds, high heels, motorcycles, and planes, or the one who storms into a crowded restaurant in her pajamas and boldly reads the riot act to a two-timing boy she's only just met? The surrounding cast give it all they've got, but the reported charm of the YA novel's main character is nowhere to be found here.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why Lina's mother made her promise to go to Italy on her own. What do you think she hoped Lina would find?
In what ways does Lina seem authentic? In what ways is she unreal?
A journal figures prominently in this story. Do you keep a journal? Why, or why not? How would you feel if other people read it?
What does this movie have to say about the mistakes well-meaning parents can sometimes make?
Have you read the book upon which this movie is based? If so, how does the movie compare?
- On DVD or streaming: June 22, 2022
- Cast: Susanna Skaggs, Tobia De Anglelis, Valentina Lodovini
- Director: Brandon Camp
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Princess Diaries
Sweet tale about growing up is terrific fun for families.
Romance-comedy classic for tweens and up.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Teen drama still fits the second time around.
Delightful classic is perfect for family movie night.
While You Were Sleeping
Appealing family comedy with old-fashioned feel.
The Devil Wears Prada
Fun, frothy fashion tale has cursing and sex.
For kids who love coming-of-age tales
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate