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  • Nicole Sherwin

Film Review: Little Italy

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

It's more than a little bit shit though.

Source: Flickering Myth

Some people might describe this movie as Romeo and Juliet, with pizza. They would be e-stupido because Romeo and Juliet is a literary masterpiece, and this is not. Little Italy has more cheese than your Nona’s margarita. Topped with all the rom-com clichés and a healthy side of offensive racial stereotypes.

The plot

Nikki and Leo were best friends growing up. Their parents owned a pizza shop together in Little Italy, Toronto. But this wasn’t your regular Pizza Hut. For one, there’s not one sweaty man covered in flour to be found. Everything is caricature Italian. The accents, the Peroni, the gangsters, the family, Luigi’s bar around the corner. Everything is Italian, except for the lead actors. Nikki (Emma Roberts) is not Italian and Leo (Hayden Christensen) is Scandinavian.

One year at the Little Italy ‘Best Pizza’ competition, Nikki and Leo’s dads have a fight. They won’t tell anyone what it was about, but they’re banned from the competition. They cease their partnership and Nikki’s dad opens a shop next door.

Source: Cosmopolitan

Nikki has bigger plans in life than working at her family's pizza shop and flees to London to go to culinary school. She’s about to hit the big time when she has to return Canada for two weeks to renew her visa. Even the tiniest details of this movie aren’t original. That plot is straight outta The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds and Sandy Bullock.

She immediately reunites with her former best friend Leo in the rain. The rain is premature for mine. They’ve only just reunited. It’s obviously too soon for the 'soaking wet and has to get changed and accidentally see each other naked and want to immediately bone' scene. But don’t worry – that’s coming.

So. Much. PIzza. Source: GIPHY

Leo invites Nikki over to dinner. He makes pizza, obviously. He takes her upstairs for a rooftop date. ‘It’s beautiful,’ says Nikki. His rooftop garden is filled with plants, and of course, tea lights. He shares with her his hopes and dreams to one day open his own shop, using only organic ingredients that he grows on his rooftop. So organic ingredients like grains for the flour, a cow up there for the milk, tomato plants for the sauce. No, he just has like 500 hundred basil and oregano plants. So, he’s just a basic white girl growing herbs in her apartment. Nikki is overwhelmed by his entrepreneurship. Nobody has ever used fresh herbs on a pizza before. She’s in love.

The next night, while Nikki is upstairs in her bedroom, Leo climbs up the side of her house and delivers her a heart shape pizza. Honestly, are these people not sick of pizza? If I have a Dominos I’m good for at least a week. And how is she still so skinny?

Make out time. Source: Tumblr

The next day they go on a 'montage' date. The ride around town on Leo’s moped and at the end of the date, they drive through a burst water pipe. Uh oh, they’re all wet! Better get changed! They go back to Leo’s house and they catch each other semi-nude. It’s on. Cue fade out.

Nikki finds some reason to be mad at Leo, something about him not changing because they obviously have to fight before they can have their big makeup scene.

Oh yeah, Alyssa Milano is in this too. Source: Flickering Myth.

While Leo and Nikki have been engaging in their tryst and families have continued quarrelling, there’s a lot of ‘Waddya doin' on my property?’ and ‘Waddya doing? Ey!’

Also, Leo’s nonno and Nikki’s nonna have fallen in love. The families are forced to reunite at a surprise dinner when they announce they are getting married. Because everyone is so feudy, Nikki and Leo I guess ignore the fact that they’re now cousins. The families decide the only way to settle this argument once and for all is at the Little Italy pizza cook-off, which the dads can’t cook at because they are banned, so the competition will have to be between Nikki and Leo.

It’s the day of the big cook-off. Nikki and Leo make it through the first round and now have to cook off against each other in the final. Wow, didn’t see that coming. They have to cook their best margarita. Classic. It’s tense, it’s the only part of the movie I genuinely cannot predict what is going to happen. The pressure’s on, family reputation is a steak, the crowd goes wild and the winner is…Leo.

Conveniently, Nikki has her suitcase at her side and a taxi is waiting to take her to the airport as soon as the winner is announced.

As Leo takes his trophy, he tastes his pizza. 'Hang on,' he says. 'That’s not my sauce! Nikki must have switched the sauces!' He can’t accept this very prestigious accolade of ‘Best pizza in Little Italy, Toronto.’ The winning pizza is a joint effort. He summons Nikki back on the stage to share the prize, but it’s too late, she’s on her way to the airport.

Cue airport scene. Leo and all the families rush to the airport, lucky for them there’s a huge line at security. Nikki’s made it to the front, but she keeps going off through the metal detector.

What a finale. Source: Tumblr

'Nikki, stop!' Leo sees her from the stop of a staircase. She’s like, 'As if want to work in my family pizza shop when I can go to London and be a chef in a bougie restaurant.' By this point, the whole family and Luigi from the bar have arrived. The whole airport has stopped to watch this very unpredictable scene. Leo’s like, 'I’m in love with you, I always have been and I always will be. I’m not afraid to tell my father I want to start my own shop. Please Nikki - stay. Not for me, with me.' The airport attendant is like, ‘Don’t be stupid, go to London.’ Nikki doesn’t say anything, she just walks through the metal detector, and then comes back again like three seconds later. They kiss and everyone claps.

Flash forward and they’ve opened a pizza restaurant together, called ‘Pizza Organica,’ where they’re currently hosting their grandparents' wedding. So also, they’re officially cousins. I guess that’s legal in Canada. The End. Thank cheesus for that.

That movie had visually appealing actors and food and I still hated it. That’s how bad it was. 2/10.

Listen to the Large Almond Latte Podcast every Tuesday for more cracking film reviews.


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