Hey now, that’s not cricket.
But it’s pretty much par for the course. You make a moon-eyed youth romance, it’s popular enough to inspire a sequel. Even in Italy that means you end with a (spoiler alert) “to be continued.”
“Out of My League” was a somewhat charming but thin Netflix release of the summer before last, an Italian “Fault in Our Stars” or “Me Before You” about a plucky young wallflower (Ludovica Francesconi) who longs to find love, some super-hunky guy.
She had a plan, a way with witty wooing words, and a timetable. But all along, she has this other thing driving her. Marta has mucoviscidosis. another name for cystic fibrosis.
By the end of that film, she had new hope and and a new beau, the stalked-until-he-relented Arturo.
“Still Out of My League,” the sequel, has Marta narrating that “nothing much has changed,” except for the fact that she dumped Arturo because they had very little in common save for the physical thing.
“I dumped HIM,” she insists to one and all, in Italian or dubbed into (British-accented) Englush. “Why does no one believe me?”
The sequel also loses Marta’s “five questions game,” her PA system at the supermarket come-ons and frankly, a lot of its charm.
Her new artist/dreamboat beau, Gabriele (Giancarlo Commare) is really into her, and jealous. It’s not going to help things when he takes a 10 month job in Paris, with her waiting for a lung transpant.
The “glass half full” girl has a brusque new doctor who doesn’t sugar-coat her doom, and her refusal to let the disease limit her life.
She still has “my two guardian angels,” her gay BFF roommates, Federica (Gaja Masciale) and Jacopo (Jozef Gjura). And her old pal Giacomo (Riccardo Niceforo), aka “Gollum,” is still hanging around their corner of Turin.
Which is handy, because the sequel has a whole lot more of her friends’ love lives and somewhat less of hers. It’s just that none of their stories are developed all that deeply, so that’s a problem.
Fiery redhead Federica’s poker hustling gets her a job as an on-staff hacker at a tech firm run by the handsome Mauro (Giorgio Lupano). Not that she’d notice, being gay and all. Not that he cares, being a sexual harasser, or so she’s told.
Jacopo is hellbent on finding somebody but suffering from FOMO — until he spies a hunk whom he can’t say for certain is gay.
Gnome-like Giacomo? He tumbles into bed at a party with an equally drunken super-hot influencer (Jenny De Nucci) who digs his company between the sheets, but won’t go “public” with him.
All the while, Marta is dealing with a long-distance affair, a jealous lover and a disease that’s running down her life clock with every passing day.
A couple of nice moments pop up — a little pathos and a moon-eyed romantic speech.
But as the focus drifts off Marta and those it shifts to aren’t developed enough to be all that interesting.
Sure, it’s “to be continued.” But the second movie in what I guess is now a trilogy doesn’t have enough entertainment content to warrant “to be continued.” If they had drama, romance and funny scenes and lines to work with, everybody involved would have been better off serving them up here.
Will “Still Out of My League,” an inferior sequel, scare away potential viewers of the third film, titled “Always Out of My League,” if my Italian is correct? It just might.
Rating: TV-Ma, sexual situations, near nudity, profanity
Cast: Ludovica Francesconi, Giancarlo Commare, Gaja Masciale, Jenny De Nucci, Riccardo Niceforo, Giorgio Lupano, Jozef Gjura
Credits: Directed by Claudio Norza, scripted by Roberto Proia and Michela Straniero. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:54