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Monday, February 6, 2023

Love in the Villa is another mediocre Netflix rom-com

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It’s inevitably already in the Netflix top 10 after less than a day but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s any good.

Think about the Netflix rom-com.

The Netflix rom-com has developed into its own genre since it is typically inexpensive to produce, frequently identical, and nearly always forgettable.

The streaming service has noticed a demand for unhurried, escapism-inducing rom-com flicks, and it is more than willing to gratify those wishes, however brief they may be. Particularly when the expectations of the genre and the audience are not particularly high.

When it comes to the Netflix rom-com, there are certainly disparities in ambition and result. Some are more motivated by creativity, maybe as a result of the director or the caliber of the talent involved.

A Netflix rom-com like Always Be My Maybe is not your typical romantic comedy. Ali Wong and Randall Park wrote it, and it included a crazy supporting performance.the actor Keanu Reeves

Additionally, it had a clear viewpoint and placed itself within the framework of Asian Americans’ experiences. It didn’t just say, “Isn’t it nice how these two handsome people fell in love,” in other words.

Zoey Deutsch, Glen Powell, and Lucy Liu made up Set It Up’s zingy cast, and the film’s humorous spirit boosted its premise, which was generally predictable.

The teen romance And For All the Boys I’ve Loved Before featured a wonderfully appealing heroine and was delicate and sweet.

One of those Netflix rom-coms is not Love in the Villa. Along with A Perfect Pairing, Lovehard, Love Guaranteed, Falling Inn Love, and The Last Summer, it is one of the others in the pantheon of banality.

In a fight, you wouldn’t be able to remember seeing that particular Netflix rom-com in three weeks. A movie that would have sat on a shelf in Video Ezy or in the midday timeslot 15 years ago is now thriving.

Its generic name, like many of its contemporaries, only denotes its genre and a few performers who are somewhat well-known as “oh, that person from that show/movie.”

It has a worn-out aura that murmurs, “We don’t even have to attempt to be half-good, we know you’re going to watch it nonetheless because the algorithm will serve it up and you will comply.”

Love in the Villa follows the tried-and-true format of two hot people meeting, an amicably resolved quarrel, and a happy ending in a way that is both lazy and predictable. That is the creed; it is not a spoiler. The divergent romantic comedy is uncommon.

They are Julie (Kat Graham from The Vampire Diaries) and Charlie, two aesthetically pleasing cuties (Tom Hopper from The Umbrella Academy).

American teacher Julie had always wanted to go to the setting of her favorite novel, Romeo and Juliet. She imagines herself strolling through Verona’s cobblestone streets, savoring the romanticism of the city’s stone walls, and reenacting Juliet’s balcony scene for herself.

She makes the decision to travel even if her boyfriend dumps her just before this painstakingly planned vacation. She is horrified to see Charlie living at the self-described “La Villa Romantica” after a terrifying voyage there.

There isn’t another place in town, and it just so happens that topless and well-chiseled Charlie and Julie have conflicting reservations.

Being trapped together, the two argue and eventually resort to absurd pranks like calling the police and using misplaced luggage. However, it is clear where this is going.

When a rom-com is this formulaic, the execution makes the difference. Little effort is made by love in the Villa. The relationship between Graham and Hopper is passably amicable but lacks the spark of fireworks that would otherwise result.

Although the story takes place in Verona, the dialogue is flat, the character development is weak, and the first hour of the film is spent in the villa.

The decision to keep it in the living room of the apartment has two effects: it makes the movie feel even smaller than it is, and there is little dynamism in its visuals because every shot looks the same as the one before. It may have been made because of the budget or an erroneous adherence to the title.

It’s already too late when Julie and Charlie are set loose in the actual city with all of its breathtaking splendour. You have the impression of having already seen two episodes of a sitcom shot in a studio.

So why does Love in the Villa always rank among the top 10 Netflix movies?

Because, in all fairness, Love in the Villa is somewhere in between, Netflix knows it doesn’t matter whether it’s artistically the best rom-com since When Harry Met Sally or if it’s going to join Gigli on the worst list.

Love in the Villa exists solely to serve the algorithm, the same algorithm that has 220 million members and knows exactly which accounts will view any movie with that central conceit. It’s for that beast to eat.

Better than more is better, but more is more difficult to please.

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