Parents' Guide to

Love & Gelato

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Book-based coming-of-age tale has grief, swearing.

Movie NR 2022 110 minutes
Love & Gelato

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Kids say (7 ):

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.

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