An Average Summer Flick
The beach, Italian sun and a group of early 20’s friends reunited for a summer vacation; Under The Riccione Sun certainly has the right formula for a fun and entertaining young adult movie. Unfortunately, most of the characters follow the usual tropes found in this genre making this a Netflix movie in desperate need of some originality. It definitely has potential though and a couple of characters tease interesting arcs, but the majority feel under-developed which does hurt the narrative of the movie.
The story here revolves around a group of young friends on their annual vacation in the Italian sea town of Riccione. Having pined for Guenda for five years, Marco is determined to win her love after finding out she’s finally single. Meanwhile Rico ends up working as a lifeguard after failing a singing audition. Blind Vincenzo also arrives at the resort with his over-protective mother and finds himself desperate for some independence.
After establishing this core group of characters, the story follows each of them as they embark on a quest for friendship and new love with all the usual obstacles and heartache along the way.
Under the Riccione Sun is a movie best watched without thinking too much about the logic or plot beats. It’s not a bad movie but I do feel this is a story that would have worked a lot better as a mini-series. There’s just not enough time for most of the characters to be fleshed out which in turn means we struggle to care about them and whether they get a happy ending. Some of the character stories feel a little contrived and rushed, so much so that you may be tempted to roll your eyes at the conclusion given.
Having said that though, the acting is pretty good from most of the cast, but Isabella Ferrari is the one who stands out the most. It’s also unsurprising then that her character arc is probably one of the more interesting here too. Her role as a mother constantly worrying about her blind son and forgetting to be happy is a great lesson unto itself and it’s conveyed beautifully through the movie. Vincenzo also has a pretty good narrative as well, as he meets (and falls for) Camilla. These two plots are the ones with the most substance but it’s a shame that the others just can’t match up.
The sun-soaked locale and breezy plot make this an easy watch but unfortunately it’s a film that fails to capture the essence of believable romance for most of its characters. Under the Riccione Sun is the Netflix movie equivalent of a holiday romance; it’s fun and absorbing but ultimately something that fizzles out.