Jack (Micheál Richardson) is in the middle of a divorce and the gallery he manages in London is about to be ripped out from under his guidance, mainly because it is owned by his soon-to-be ex-wife’s parents. All he knows and all he believes he is made of is wrapped up in his work there, so he will do everything to get the money to purchase the building for himself — which leads him back to his father in the new film Made in Italy.
Robert Forester (Liam Neeson) was an accomplished artist but more notably, is Jack’s father. The two have rarely spoken since the death of their wife and mother. Now they must come together to sell the family home in Italy, which they both own half of, if Jack is going to raise the money for the gallery.
While things have been icy between Jack and Robert, the journey back to Italy provides an opportunity for them to learn more about each other than they ever bothered to in the years that have passed. But, time together does not always mean quality time. Sometimes it takes restoring the old to the new to bring out the best in all of us.
Along the way we are graced with colorful characters like Natalia (Valeria Bilello) the local restaurateur who endears herself to both of the men with her cooking and Kate (Lindsay Duncan), the real estate agent who is showing the dump — or should I say home — that needs a lot of work. These women have different stories but all are made in Italy.
As I journeyed through the countryside with the characters created in Made in Italy, I became enthralled by the simplicity of it all. The importance of family and those whom we consider family is never more evident than in Made in Italy. Richardson is the real-life son of Neeson and the late Natasha Richardson, which only enhanced my love of the film. The two men give us a relationship onscreen that many fathers and sons experience. It’s an unspoken love that neither knows quite how to move forward with. Jack longs for his father’s approval while Robert just doesn’t want to hurt his son.
Bilello’s Natalia helps viewers understand that not every life is perfect and that’s OK. Family matters to all of these characters. She is the warmth to the icy relationship between the men.
And then there is the picturesque views from the home. I looked out at the beauty that surrounds the pain and the tranquility engulfing the anxiety and it is absolutely breathtaking. I could have used more of these juxtapositions in the film, as they brought a level of peace to me as a viewer and a notion of all being right in the world.
I loved the way Made in Italy helped me to draw forth my personal experiences and add peace to my own life. It is a far-from-perfect film, but the mix of comedic moments with true emotion made for a wonderful diversion from life. I would like more of the countryside, more of the views and more of the beauty of old world Italy, but I’ll happily settle for this smorgasbord of good friends and warm feelings. Family forever.
Made in Italy is available now On Demand. Check your cable system for availability