Netflixable? Italian 20 year-olds reach for romance among the rich “Under the Amalfi Sun”

It wouldn’t be summer without an insipid Netflix summer romance set somewhere in scenic, sunny Italia. This year’s entry, “Under the Amalfi Sun” hangs on a couple of youth romances that are pretty hard to invest in, and an adult one that’s strictly a non-starter.

But the scenery’s stunning, an idyllic Amalfi Coast backdrop for the rich and the pretending to be rich swimming, cliff diving, scuba diving, boating, biking, clubbing and dining out.

Camilla (Ludovica Martino) is home from college in Canada. Vincenzo (Lorenzo Zurzolo) isn’t. But as his dad has a seaside luxury apartment he’s letting them stay in, maybe he doesn’t need to go and learn a trade. They’re 20 years old, have been apart for a year and he’s ready for them to move in together. But Camilla might have other plans.

Irene (Isabella Ferrari) is Vincenzo’s doting/hovering mom. She’s been divorced for a while, and has been dating Lucio (Luca Ward) for long enough that he’s angling to ask her to marry him. Not that she’s quite ready for that.

A big obstacle to everybody’s happily-ever-after? Vincenzo is blind, reasonably self-sufficient in environments he has memorized. We kind of understand his anxiety over closing the deal with his first great love. Where is going to meet her equal?

His mother worries about him incessantly. Everybody else is wondering if Camilla’s ready for a lifetime commitment, and understands what that means with a blind mate. “Everybody,” in this case, includes Camilla.

Complications include Vincenzo’s on-the-make BFF Furio (Davide Calgaro), who pines for the stunning, designer-dressed/runway-ready Rebecca (Elena Funari), who doesn’t know he’s alive, and has no interest in changing that, and Cami’s British roomie Natalie (Kyshan Wilson), a beauty with body image issues that keep her from falling for Vincenzo’s hunky “playa” pal, Hans.

The posh setting might have been a source of stress for the young folks. Furio’s trying to come off as rich to impress Rebecca, but nobody else talks about that financial elephant in the room.

La di dah, la di dah. Let’s hop on Dad’s boat for a bit, visit Hans’ mother’s waterfront views afterward, maybe do some diving off Lucio’s boat. Not a cheap place to do any of that, and as the film has so little conflict in it, you’d think a little class friction or fretting over finances and the future would be in order.

But no.

There isn’t much to this aside from an attractive but bland and colorless cast parked in front of seaside vistas, stunning coves to swim or dive in and the like.

We don’t get much of a picture of the place, although there is a sense that it’s not really meant for young people. Not much night life, etc.

The parallel “couples in trouble” plot doesn’t play out in the most predictable ways. But it comes damned close. And even the “twists” can’t break the serenity, the calm and the boredom always present “Under the Amalfi Sun.”

Rating: TV-MA? Why? Oh, a little profanity

Cast: Lorenzo Zurzolo, Ludovica Martino, Kyshan Wilson, Davide Calgaro, Isabella Ferrari and Luca Ward.

Credits: Martina Pastori, scripted by Caterina Salvadori, Enrico Vanzina and Ciro Zecca. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:35

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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