Netflix’s “Love in the Villa” leaves viewers with mixed emotions

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Imagine a movie filled to the brim with popular romance tropes, but then ruining it by dragging it out for an eternity. You’ll probably have a similar picture in your mind to Netflix’s original movie, “Love in the Villa.” The trailer left me awaiting the arrival of the movie, but after viewing, I was left with conflicted feelings.

The Netflix original was released on Sept. 1, and as a rom-com enjoyer, I came into it with high hopes. The movie is about Julie Hutton (Kat Graham) dreaming of living out her hopeless romantic fantasy with her boyfriend of four years, Brandon (Raymond Ablack). She books a trip for the two of them to Verona, Italy, but just as the trip is about to take place, he breaks up with her, and Julie decides to go on the trip by herself. Prior to arriving, she finds out her villa is double-booked, and she has to share with the charming but infuriating Charlie Fletcher (Tom Hopper) for the two weeks she’s there.

I was excited to see the movie was almost two hours long; I thought it’d bring more build up to the moment Julie and Charlie would finally get together, but I found myself easily distracted in the beginning. As someone who is head over heels for romance, I was disappointed because it felt like some of the banter between the characters was put in to add screen time. When the conflict was resolved, it felt rushed. The characters didn’t seem to have much depth. Although they were funny at times, they weren’t interesting enough for me to connect with them on a deeper level than what I already saw. 

Despite the sloppy nature at the beginning, there was a turning point and it started to pick up toward the middle. I found myself hooked. The shots throughout the movie were beautiful, and I loved how the romantic essence of Italy was captured. There were moments between Julie and Charlie I felt drawn to; the raw and quiet moments where their personalities shined through was something the writers did a great job on.

I fell in love with the casting and the representation of a biracial couple as the main characters. This factor was a significant part of the movie because of all the discrimination black women have faced; seeing a white man fall in love with her breaks stereotypes.

Overall, I was expecting more from this movie. It could have been executed better and much shorter, but there was still some exquisite cinematography. All in all, I would say it was OK, but there could have been some minor changes.