If you are a fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, then look no further. “Love in the Villa” was released Sept. 1 on Netflix and has since hit the top 100 movies list on the platform.
1. The Charming Plot
Third-grade teacher Julie (Kat Graham) takes a trip to romantic Verona, Italy, after a breakup from her long-term boyfriend, Brandon (Raymond Ablack). Julie is obsessed with “Romeo and Juliet,” so she wants to visit all the places the two characters visited in the play. But, when she gets there, she realizes the villa she reserved was double booked, and she will have to share it with a cynical British man named Charlie (Tom Hopper).
They then spend the next few days trying to convince the other one to leave. Surprise surprise their hatred toward each other turns to love; unfortunately, Charlie has a fiancée, Cassie (Laura Hopper), and Brandon surprises Julie in Verona. Will he choose Julie or Cassie? And will Julie get back together with Brandon?
2. The Talented Cast
“Love in the Villa” stars Kat Graham, who you may know from CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” or other Netflix romantic comedies like “Operation Christmas Drop” and “The Holiday Calendar.”
Raymond Ablack is known for his roles in “Ginny & Georgia,” “Shadowhunters” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Laura Hopper, Tom Hopper’s wife (Cassie) is known for her roles in “The Umbrella Academy” and “Doctors.”
Additional cast members include Emilio Solfrizzi as Silvio, the man that double books the villa, Sean Amsing as Roberto, and Lorenzo Lazzarini as Uberto. They are all accompanied by Peter Arpesella, Katie McGovern, Atikur Rahman Mahi, Stefano Skalkotos, Andrea Bellacicco, Helene Cardona and Saverio Sculli.
3. The Italian Setting
The film was shot in Verona, Italy, so you know that the scenery is beautiful. What is really cool is that you can visit all the places Julie and Charlie went in the movie and live out your own “Romeo and Juliet” dreams.
The Casa di Giulietta is a real balcony in Verona, and it is the balcony that Julie stands on at the end.
The statue of Juliet, which appears nearly midway through the film, is said to bring you good luck if you rub her breast.
According to Cosmopolitan, these locations helped Kat Graham and Top Hopper get into character. “A lot [of the scenes] are location-based, because it was incredible to be there. There’s that one [where] we were walking across the bridge, which was beautiful,” Hopper said.
The bridge in question is called Ponte Pietra and it is hard to miss in Verona. Take someone that means a lot to you on a walk there and it will be a memory you won’t forget.
“Love in the Villa” was filmed around various restaurants, streets and piazzas throughout Verona. Julie and Charlie’s idyllic picnic scene appears to take place on Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. How could they not fall in love there?
Finally, the fountain Julie tosses a coin into is called Fontana Madonna Verona.
4. The Magical Mood
“Love in the Villa” makes you feel like you are on vacation. Kat Graham noted that the movie is “as magical as it seems,” in large part because of the location, saying, “Everything that you guys feel while watching it — it’s not fake. It’s something that is such a real experience.” Tom added, “People should go and visit Verona and feel it for themselves. They really should. Like Kat says, that’s absolutely true. All those feelings — it’s all there.”
“Love in the Villa” is a fun romantic comedy with a dreamy setting — what more could you ask for? Watch it today; here is the trailer if you are interested.