Movie review: Made In Italy
If this comedy-drama starred anyone other than Liam Neeson and his son Micheal Richardson, it would have been a rather forgettable trip.
The selling point is undoubtedly the real-life parallels and sad subtext.
In 2009, Neeson's wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died in a skiing accident, when their boy was only 14.
Manipulative stunt casting or sweet homage, Made In Italy seems determined to mine their personal backstory for on-screen emotion.
A London artist (Neeson) returns to Tuscany with his estranged son (Richardson) to make a quick sale of the villa they inherited from his late wife. As the pair restore their former home, they start to mend their relationship which had been strained since her sudden death.
It is a shame that watching Neeson and Richardson - who resembles his mother so much and even took her maiden name - bond is the only saving grace in an otherwise mawkish, cliched tale of grief, regret, healing and new beginnings.
But for those craving a virtual vacation during these pandemic times, the glorious Tuscan scenery will provide vicarious respite.
MADE IN ITALY (PG13)