Movie Review: Little Italy

Set in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood, this light-hearted comedy celebrates family, young (and not-so-young) romance, and food–more precisely pizza.

The tagline–Romeo and Juliet with pizza–is an apt descriptor.

The storyline centers on Nikki Angioli (Emma Roberts), an aspiring chef who reluctantly returns to Toronto after a five-year absence, and Leo Campo (Hayden Christensen), her boyhood pal. The chemistry sizzles as they navigate a slow, sensual courtship.

Unfortunately, their fathers, onetime friends and partners, had a falling out after a pizza contest. Now, they’re operating rival pizzerias next door to each other.

Nikki and Leo aren’t the only star-crossed lovers in this film. Nikki’s grandmother (Andrea Martin) and Leo’s grandfather (Danny Aiello) carry on a secret romance, meeting in the confessional and at Starbucks. Their scenes are delightful–I only wish more of the movie had been devoted to these seasoned actors.

While most of the film features Italian-Canadian (American) stereotypes, a few extra touches have been added: an Asian bar owner named Luigi (Andrew Phung) and two Indo-Canadian characters, Jogi and Jessie (Vas Saranga and Amrit Kauer) who work for the rival pizzerias.

Definitely light fare but an excellent choice for end-of-the-summer viewing.

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