REVIEW: ‘Under the Amalfi Sun’ Brings Fun Romances

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Under the Amalfi Sun - But Why Tho

Under the Amalfi Sun (Sotto il sole di Amalfi) is an Italian-language Netflix Original romance directed Martina Pastori about Vincenzo’s (Lorenzo Zurzolo) trip to Amalfi with his girlfriend Camilla (Ludovica Martino) who just returned home from a year abroad in Canada, his best friend Furio (Davide Calgaro) and Camilla’s new friend Nathalie (Kyshan Wilson). Meanwhile, his mother Irene (Isabella Ferrari) is on vacation too, with her new partner Lucio (Luca Ward) and her ex-husband keeps crashing the party (Andrea Occhipinti).

The movie is overall rather sweet. It’s a love story between Vincenzo and Camilla, sure, but it’s also one between several of the other characters too. I’ll be honest, none of the secondary characters end up where I expected them to, but that didn’t negate my enjoyment. If anything, it just felt more like what you might expect from real life: decisions you wouldn’t make for yourself necessarily but that you can respect nonetheless. Regardless of who winds up with whom, I enjoyed that the movie spends so much time focused on characters other than its main ones. I didn’t have anything against the two of them, but frankly I found Furio and Nathalie’s stories and connection more interesting. It gets nearly the same screen time and I’d have been just fine if they were the central characters instead.

Vincenzo and Camilla’s conflict, classically, is born of them just not talking to each other. A frustrating trope at times, it’s at least ameliorated some by their other ongoing strife of not trusting in one another either. Vincenzo is blind and Camilla has a hard time trusting that he’s okay with not always being able to partake in some things, or that he can completely partake in others. It never comes off in a demeaning way to him, because her intention is clearly so wrong in the first place that you never for a moment empathize with her decision. It doesn’t make her bad either though, because you know it’s the wrong though for the right reason at least.

On the other hand, Vincenzo has a hard time trusting that Camilla isn’t always patronizing him or making decisions based on his vision. Which I mean, when she acts like she does sometimes and he gets that all the time from his dad, I can’t blame him. But it’s part of a trend I’ve found in stories about people with differences of all kinds learning they’re allowed to be happy and trust that other people do truly love them just how they are.

I also enjoy the way some of the older characters are used, particularly Lucio, to demonstrate just how absurd most everyone else is being about their romantic decision-making. He’s pretty much the only one of the cast who does absolutely nothing wrong the whole time and bears the possibly worst brunt of others’ mistakes. That he gets to be a big part of several other characters’ ultimate decision-making was fun, making him not just a tertiary plot point but a character with something to give. I equally enjoy how in turn, Vincenzo garners the opportunity to do similarly for his mother. I’m not sure I ever felt like she had much going on as her own character outside of her relations with Lucio and Roberto, but that she does get to be independent and learn from Vincenzo in the end was swell.

This movie is a sequel to 2020’s Under the Riccione Sun, but admirably you don’t need to have any knowledge of the previous movie whatsoever. It’s got a great setting, good music, nice outfits, and a few pretty earnestly-acted scenes to feel something about. Also, just shout out to whoever made the movie’s title logo. I really dig it.

Under the Amalfi Sun isn’t anything special, but a summer romance doesn’t need to be to feel like a good use of an hour and a half. Pop this one on, enjoy a few connections, and be jealous you’re not on a gorgeous beach.

Under the Amalfi Sun is streaming now on Netflix.


Under the Amalfi Sun
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Under the Amalfi Sun isn’t anything special, but a summer romance doesn’t need to be to feel like a good use of an hour and a half. Pop this one on, enjoy a few connections, and be jealous you’re not on a gorgeous beach.

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