“Under the Riccione Sun” will remind you what many may miss thanks to COVID-19, but it gives you the chance to live vicariously.
|Screenplay By||Caterina Salvadori, Enrico Vanzina, Ciro Zecca|
|Date Released (Netflix)||7/1/2020|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Romance, Young Adult, Non-English|
|Duration||1 Hour 42 Minutes|
|Tommy||Matteo Oscar Giuggioli|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Characters & Storyline
It the summertime in Riccione, Italy, and we follow multiple characters as they search for love, one or two for sex, and try to make this summer memorable. However, there are so many complications ranging from never knowing love before, past heartbreak, lack of confidence, or simply bad timing. Leaving you to wonder, will everyone find love, or will some be left out?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
If you’re afraid of losing, you won’t play well.
Cast & Character Guide
The pseudo-leader of the volleyball team Marco is part of who hits on Ciro throughout the film.
The son of Ciro’s boss, who befriends Vincenzo, who struggles to get girls to look his way. At least, in a desirable fashion.
Tommy’s roommate, who lives in a place Gualtiero rents out, that is head over heels in love with Guenda and has been for years. However, with her being with someone for almost as long as he has loved her, it seems they have bad timing. Well, that and Marco lacks that oomph to move beyond being seen as a friend, or brother.
A middle-aged pick-up artist who has lived most of his life being someone’s one night stand or summer love. Which, for Marco’s troubles, makes him someone to speak to in order to win over Guenda.
Marco’s love interest who has been with the same boy 5 years and despite Mara noting how unhappy Guenda is with her boyfriend, Guenda wants to figure a way to make it work. Even if he is being petty and posting pictures of himself with other girls.
Blind, a virgin, and a 20-year-old who hasn’t really gotten to date, Furio ends up being a godsend for Vincenzo during the summer. Especially since he makes it so he isn’t stuck with his helicopter mom Irene.
Vincenzo’s love interest, who, like Guenda, has been in a long term relationship, at least for her age, but with college on the horizon, in Canada at that, he relationship is on the rocks. Making Vincenzo’s appearance not great timing, but also what Camilla needed for the summer.
Vincenzo’s mother, who, since Vincenzo was a teenager, has been single and thus poured all her spare time into raising him. However, with him increasingly not wanting her to baby him, track him, and dedicate her life to his existence, she is forced to pick up where she left off.
A bouncer in Riccione who, as Irene is trying to stalk Vincenzo, ends up going from getting a black eye from Irene to dating her. At least, until he realizes her dedication to her adult son may surpass any interest she has in him.
Ciro desires fame and planned to gain it through music. However, without the talent or drive, he ends up a lifeguard for the summer. One who has to avoid all the temptation around him since he has a girlfriend, Violante.
Violante’s best friend, who is incredibly book smart but not necessarily the luckiest in love. But, her arrival in Riccione seemingly was supposed to change that. However, all she ends up doing is getting a job she isn’t necessarily good at and spending time with Ciro.
Ciro’s girlfriend from back home who wants something more from him, but it isn’t clear if he is ready for the relationship she wants.
Marco’s roommate, who likes smoking weed, is really good at volleyball and is flunking out of school.
Damn Near Everyone Is Likable & Memorable
There is a huge slew of characters in “Under the Riccione Sun.” There is Marco, who is deeply infatuated with Guenda. We also have Vincenzo, and his mother Irene, who find romance in Riccione and struggle with their unique set of obstacles. Ciro is still trying to figure out life, which leads to a lot of temptation, and then there is Camilla who has someone, but it is clear he is not the one.
Each of those characters, and more, you want to root for, see fall in love, and even if a summer fling, you want it to be something that sets a precedent. Heck, even the barely focused on characters, like Mara, you want them to find love or just someone to get them off. For, strangely, even for characters like her, who you don’t learn much more than the name of, their name is remembered, and it makes you wonder when are they going to find someone?
It Features Older Actors Finding & Talking About Love
We like a young adult romance as much as the next person, but let’s not pretend the market isn’t saturated with 20-somethings finding love or lust. So when it comes to Irene, Gualtiero, and Lucio, I loved seeing them actively in the mix. Irene got to be more than Vicenzo’s mother, who, with him being blind, and her left by his father, has no life outside of him. We get to see her live a little, love a little, and maybe not get her groove back, but at least know she is still desirable.
Then with Gualtiero, who doesn’t love a reformed whore? Especially one who tries to use the tricks he used to use to help someone like Marco? Even if, due to notable personality differences, Marco isn’t able to necessarily do all that Gualtiero, in his youth, was able to get away with.
It Feels Long As Hell
There are a lot of characters in this film, and while there is not an equal focus, there is enough dedication to many to make you feel a connection. However, that comes at the cost of sometimes feeling like the film is a bit bloated and needs to wrap things up. I’d even say, despite how cute some couples are, none of them are butterflies in your stomach inducing. It’s clear no one is going to last past the summer, and even with some having their first love, it’s all rather tame.
Heck, even the one sex scene has a little bit of side boob, but that’s it. So, on top of not having a romance that leaves you awestruck, you don’t really get much in terms of titillation either. Well, besides ripped abs and girls in bikinis. Which, honestly, ain’t a bad sight.
On The Fence
You May Feel Bad Some Didn’t Get A Happy Ending
You could say, “Under the Riccione Sun,” while it has its grandeur moments, it doesn’t allow every single character to live out their fantasy. Despite the efforts of some, be it sexually or just trying to get a date, a handful don’t succeed. They end up still having a good summer, but maybe not having the kind of fun they hoped for and expected. Which for two, offhand, you may not like they didn’t find joy. Even if one was clearly about no strings attached and the other? Well, maybe they wanted something real or perhaps just to feel like they were more attractive than they thought.
Would Watch Again? – One and Done
Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
“Under The Riccione Sun” is a nice reminder of what the Coronavirus took away from many. The possibility of fun in the sun, meeting new friends, hooking up, falling in love, and having grand stories to tell. But, as much as it allows you to live vicariously, it also has so many characters and lacks the kind of pop needed to keep you utterly engaged for its time-length.
Hence the mixed label. “Under The Riccione Sun” is enjoyable, but not something to watch on repeat. It’s just a good means to remind yourself of what could be in 2021.
Where To Watch
Under The Riccione Sun Ending Explained (Spoilers)
So, of all the characters named above, only Mara and Furio don’t end up with anyone. Marco, after a grand gesture at a concert, and some help from Gualtiero (arguably), wins over Guenda and stops her from reconnecting with her ex Bebo. Vincenzo, after Furio helps him with a letter, not only gets Camilla’s heart, but they also have sex! Also, his mother, Irene, and the bouncer, Lucio, they don’t do the nasty, but they do have a good time together at the same concert Marco confesses his love to Guenda.
As for the rest? Ciro gets broken up with at the concert and ends up with his exes’ best friend Emma, now that Violante isn’t complicating things, but we don’t hear about what his next move is. Especially since he makes it seem he wants fame more so than a career which results in fame. And lastly, our favorite old ho, Gualtiero, we learn Marco and Tommy found the love of his life, Fanny, and with her calling him, it seems they might get to pick up where they left off. Assuming she is single this time.
They could feature what happened a year later and, if they wanted to make it dreary, incorporate how the Coronavirus complicated things. I doubt it will happen, but that’s an angle.