Ciro (Gennaro Guazzo) is 11-years-old and lives in the wrong part of Naples. But he's adored by his mother, Barbara (Serena Rossi), and his huge, slightly mad extended family, which encompasses grandparents, aunts and even neighbours. Thanks to Ciro's absent father (a famous rockstar), there's enough cash around so that Ciro can escape his humble background and attend a snooty private school in the right area of town.
Out of place socially and academically, Ciro dislikes going to the private school. That is until he develops a hopeless schoolyard crush for classmate, Ludovica (Giorgia Agata). Ciro doesn't believe he will be able to win over Ludovica and in his despair, his normally voracious appetite diminishes and other concerning behaviours start to rear their head. So Barbara seeks the services of a child psychiatrist, Tommaso (Luigi Esposito). He's bookish and shy - the complete opposite of vivacious Barbara, but soon after Barbara and Ciro turn up at to Tommaso's office, Tommaso falls in love with Barbara.
Ciro and Tommaso's sessions quickly turn to their love interests, and the pair make a pact: they will help each other out - Ciro knows how Tommaso can win Barbara over and Tommaso will likewise help Ciro out, imparting enough wisdom so that Ciro can ask Ludovica out.
Presented as part of the 18th Lavazza Italian Film Festival, From Naples With Love was directed by Gianluca Ansanelli. It's a sweet film, with lots of charm and plenty of laughs. Whether it's gentle mockery of Italian stereotypes (the crazy extended family who yell and gesticulate wildly at each other) or just plain old slapstick silliness, the film is often very funny.
And as much as From Naples With Love deals in the standard tropes of the romantic comedy genre, it's also as much a love letter to Naples itself, a city often maligned for its dysfunction, but here rendered in beautiful pictures and shown assured and proud of its traditions. The film might get a touch too warm and fuzzy at times, but there's so much to like, and so many laughs, that you'll still be charmed.
'From Naples With Love' (Troppo Napoletano) is playing nationally as part of the Lavazza Italian Film Festival.
Find information on session times, locations and tickets here.