A London artist (Liam Neeson) and his estranged son (Micheál Richardson) try to mend their relationship as they work together to repair a dilapidated house in Italy in “Made in Italy,” a decent, if predictable, drama from writer / director James D’Arcy. The story is unoriginal and lacks substance, but the gorgeous scenery of the Tuscan countryside and the father-son dynamic (Neeson stars with his real-life son Micheál) are enough for a very mild recommendation.
From the start, the story seems to be veering towards the rom-com genre (with the introduction of a local love interest), but it turns in a different direction and goes for the familial drama. It’s serious subject matter about healing a decades-old divide in a damaged relationship between a parent and his adult child, but the lighthearted elements prevent the film from being a total downer. As the two men embark on a path to start healing their emotional wounds over a mom one can’t remember and a wife one can’t forget, the movie becomes more about the love and respect between a father and his son versus a traditional romance.
There’s nothing new nor original in “Made in Italy,” and the worst parts of the film ring hollow and feel forced. But the best parts should meet the expectations of those searching for a perfectly nice little movie to watch with their mom.