Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous love stories in human history. William Shakespeare‘s tale of forbidden love set against a background of two warring families has touched generations of readers and romantics.
When Julie arrives in Italy, she discovers that the property she rented has been double booked. Charlie Fletcher (Tom Hopper) arrived at the home first and is refusing to find another place to stay. After they play a game of “top that” to force the other one out, they discover that they have a few things in common. Which of course, grows into a mutual attraction. But of course, there are barriers standing in their way.
Is it cute and charming? Yes. But it is also a little too predictable. That predictability comes from Julie’s GBF (gay best friend) and the return of both of their exes. I wish that the screenwriters would have transformed the narrative from hate to love a little sooner. It was also a bit too long. The last scene could have been cut down by a few minutes. I was almost wanting them to get together just so the movie would end.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Love in the Villa is available for streaming on Netflix.
The beauty of a romantic comedy is the nearly endless narrative possibilities. The reader/audience can only hope that the writer(s) chooses to color outside of the lines instead of sticking to the same story we have all seen far too often.
The Matzah Ball: A Novel, by Jean Meltzer, was published in September. Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is living a double life. To her readers, she is the best-selling writer of Christmasromance novels. In real life, she is the daughter of a respected Rabbi and Doctor who has been living with a debilitating illness for years. When her publisher requests a tale based around Chanukah, Rachel is at a loss.
Enter Jacob Greenberg, her preteen camp crush/nemesis. Returning to New York after his mother’s death, he has a successful career as a party planner. His sole intent is to host the Matzah Ball, a party celebrating Jewish music on the last night of the holiday. He has every intention of returning to Paris the night after the event. What he does not know is that Rachel will come back into his life, needing a way into the festivities.
Their initial meet-cute after nearly twenty years of separation does not go well. But as they spend more time with each other, the hurt and questions from their mutual summer together may turn into something else completely.
I loved this book. It has a perfect Pride and Prejudice undertone with layers of complexity, characters who are thoroughly human, and a holiday chronicle that is utterly charming, My only problem is that I found the character of Mickey, despite his background, to be a little too cookie-cutter. The role of the GBF (gay best friend), is usually nothing more than a stereotype and a sounding board for the female lead. It would have been nice if the author had stepped out of the box a little and not relied on the 2D trope that has been done too many times.