Movie reviews

“Love in the Villa” Movie Review

It’s not a villa. It’s an apartment.

I’m not sure I even need to do this because many people had pointed out everything wrong with this movie elsewhere. So, I’ll start by pointing out some good things first.

1.) The actors are cute. I enjoyed watching their banter and they’ve tried their best, considering the script.

2.) Verona is an excellent backdrop for any movie.

3.) I liked her dresses.

4.) When you’re lying sick in bed like I was, and your brain refuses to work, this movie is a good choice to watch, because it won’t overwhelm those exhausted brain cells at all.

But, now to come to what was so obviously wrong with this movie that I sincerely hope someone at Netflix deciding what to film next will look at the comments people are leaving, and take them seriously. Spoilers ahead, so, be warned!

1.) The beginning of the movie and the meet-cute are perfectly fine for a romantic comedy. So, why ruin everything by forcing an enemy to lovers trope? And, in the process, making Julie look like a deranged psycho? Let me explain – after she arrives in Verona and finds out her apartment was double-booked by Charlie, he allows her to stay in the apartment, and although not happy about it, is actually quite civil. She, however, wants to get rid of him – by triggering his cat allergy and getting him arrested. What? Since when does endangering someone’s health and job count as romantic?

2.) Yes, we all know, Italians have a funny accent and drive their cars like crazy. They are unorganized and all men have mistresses. They like to hug and kiss. I don’t know, is there a single stereotype about Italy and Italians that was not served in this movie? Is that even funny anymore?

3.) Why is Julie so upset that Charlie served her horse meat, that she throws plates of food around a rented apartment? I would understand if she were a vegetarian, but why is in her non-vegetarian world eating horse meat so much worse than eating cow meat that it makes her puke and redecorate walls with food?

4.) And finally, after the movie spends most of the time focusing on their “little war”, which involved the police a couple of times, there is hardly any time left to persuade us that Charlie and Julie actually like each other. Enough that she would decide not to marry her boyfriend of four years. I don’t know, maybe I don’t understand the workings of an insta-love, but I didn’t buy it.

Maybe by scaling down their antagonism and allowing Julie and Charlie to spend some more quality time together in the movie, their romance would become more convincing and we, as observers, would get a couple of thrills more out of the whole thing. Or any thrills at all.

This way, I am left mildly underwhelmed and am giving the movie 2.5 * out of 5.

Then again, what do I know? I’m only a romance writer…

What do you think? What are your favorite romance movies of all time? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your opinion.

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Dumbledore’s Northman in a Jurassic World of Madness

Recently, after a long break, I had a chance to finally go to a cinema and see some of the new movies out there. It’s been ages since I visited a movie theater and naturally, I was very excited and ready to be entertained.

My first movie was “The Northman” – Vikings, slaughter, romance, and shirtless men, I mean what’s there not to like? So, I sat in the darkness, eagerly expecting an exciting story supported by an excellent cast and great directing, and what did I get? I got a bloody and muddy version of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (or, “Lion King” for those who like a friend of mine had managed to avoid reading Hamlet in high school). This version, however, had a rather forced strong female character Olga (instead of poor Ophelia), and no catchy songs whatsoever. In addition, as usual, the lead male actor was closer in age to his movie mother (9 years age difference), than to his movie love interest (20 years difference), but I’m not going to go into that discussion here. Sure, the last scene where Amleth and his uncle swordfight naked next to a stream of sizzling lava is absolutely worth watching, if only for the fact that the fighters are, well, naked, but there was overall too much drama and too little sense in the story. Visually, the movie delivered, but it’s a tale we’ve all seen so many times before and my brain screamed, “Give me something new!”

In search of novelty, I went therefore to see the next movie “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore“. I liked the first two movies of the series, and all the Harry Potter stuff anyway, so what could go wrong, right? Well, just about everything. I really don’t want to sound whiny, but the best thing about the movie was that I was watching it in a 4D movie theatre, with special seats, which shake and blow air every time a spell is cast on screen. I’ll abstain from spoilers and further comments in this letter because I don’t want to bore you to death, in case you’re not interested, but in case you are, this video on Youtube nicely sums up everything wrong with the movie and why I will probably not see any further movies from this serial in a theatre.

My general disappointment, however, runs much deeper. According to the trailers of the upcoming movies, this year we will be honored with such masterpieces as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” or “Top Gun: Maverick” in May, and “Jurassic World Dominion” in June. Don’t get me wrong – I am a total fan of Doctor Strange, I love dinosaurs (on screen, that is), and, I mean, Top Gun is history. However, these are all franchise movies, tried formulas that cannot fail to bring in money due to the already existing fan base. There is no sense of adventure, risk-taking, or pushing the limits of cinematography. I guess for that we should go to streaming platforms, not movie theaters. What do you think?


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