Under the Riccione Sun (Sotto il sole di Riccione) (2020) by Younuts

Under the Riccione Sun (Sotto il sole di Riccione) (2020) by Younuts

This is not a film. It is a 100-minute recap of every sort of teen soft-core rom-com plots and situations one has ever come across, added with some old men and women here and there. Clear them all out, show only the beautiful bay and seafront of Riccione, and you’ve got a much more interesting film.

1.5 out of 4 stars

Even though the film has more people in it than there is on a crowded beach, you can get its plot in a single line. The plot goes like this. A few teenage boys meet up at Riccione to chase girls. That’s it. To focus on this plot, the makers keep it all simple. They give the guys hairstylists and the girls bikinis. Then they tell them to start running and chasing. Of course, the boys should have more character information. So one of them has glasses while another has shades. The girls, on the other hand, are all confused about why they are in their current relationships. This is important because the girls need to feel motivated towards leaving their current boyfriends so that the 100-minute efforts of our boys do not get wasted. Don’t think the film doesn’t give us the essentials.

So now you have Marco (Saul Nanni), a nerd (therefore, with glasses), who has to chase Guenda (Fotinì Peluso). Then there is Vincenzo (Lorenzo Zurzolo), a blind man but more importantly, a virgin, who needs to chase Camilla (Ludovica Martino). And there’s Ciro (Cristiano Caccamo), who’s committed to Violante, but who will be chasing Violante’s bestie, Emma (Claudia Tranchese). To help them achieve their important goals, there are multiple side characters. In most films like this one, these are the characters who turn out to be more interesting. Not so here. Here their purpose is strictly one-note. So they either enlighten them with insightful guidance (Gualtiero) or lure our heroes away by typically objectifying themselves (Mara). The guys also receive refreshments in the form of booze and drugs so that they don’t become tired as they chase. Oh, and there’s Lucio (Luca Ward), who is chasing Irene (Isabella Ferrari). Irene, Vincenzo’s mother, dedicates her life to her son, until, she rides a bike.

Of course, there are a few surprises. I was surprised Marco, who has loved Guenda for 5 years, takes advice from Gualtiero (Andrea Roncato). Gualtiero has spent most of his years taking women as one-night stands. Marco finds him impressive enough to tolerate Gualtiero’s dialogues like ‘seducing women is an art’. Aren’t nerds supposed to be intelligent? Corny dialogues and paper-thin characters do not give much space for performances. Only Irene’s tired face stands out, which helps us empathize with her even though her overemphasis on Vincenzo’s blindness is grating, to say the least. As a blind person, Lorenzo Zurzolo’s performance isn’t bad (except when he’s kissing).

At one point Gualtiero tells Marco to become the man Guenda wants. Question is, do these characters even know what a woman wants? Do the women in the film know what they want? They do know that they have to be desirable. In the end, I had the feeling that if these characters weren’t there, and the 100 minutes were instead about the beautiful bay and seafront of Riccione, the film would have been much more interesting. Because being desirable is what counts.

Credits (from IMDb):
Directed by

Younuts

Written by

Caterina Salvadori
Enrico Vanzina
Ciro Zecca … (writer)

Cinematography by

Davide Manca

Editing by

Francesco Galli

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