Movie Review: Out of My League (2020) is cliché but charming

September 13th, 2021

Written by 20-year-old Nica Glorioso, this piece was inspired by her professor who she regards as someone who reignited her passion for writing. Submissions under POP! Creator Community appear “as is,” without any editorial intervention.

Here’s her piece titled, “Movie Review: Out of My League (2020) is cliché but charming”:

Since this little Netflix gem is getting a sequel this September with a completely different love interest, let’s dive a bit into Marta’s first love story.

Out of My League, or Sul più bello in its original Italian, directed by Alice Filippi, is a tale we’ve heard before: quirky girl with a life-threatening illness finds love in the form of a boy who could not be more different than her.

Out of My League

Marta (Ludovica Francesconi) is a bold, cheerful young woman who’s obsessed with living her life as normally as possible despite her condition. She meets the rich, hunky Arturo Selva (Giuseppe Maggio) and tries not to let her condition get in the way of their budding romance, but of course, it does, and of course, for that reason, we watch.

The movie hits all the YA rom-com tropes like a checklist. Its paper-thin plot is extremely predictable and much of the 90-minute movie is overrun with fillers, montages, and an unnecessary B-plot involving Marta’s loyal and caring friends Jacopo (Jozef Gjura) and Federica (Gaja Masciale).

The acting, though, was far from terrible. In fact, the actors’ performances were fun to watch as they tried to make do with what little personalities their characters had. As Marta and Arturo’s relationship grew—a little quickly, I might add—Francesconi and Maggio’s charming renditions of characters we’ve seen before livened up the film.

Marta is optimistic and determined, but also seems a little unhinged as she embarks on questionable endeavors in a desperate search for love. Francesconi portrays the dying girl with an air of spontaneity that really makes one wonder what will this girl do next to embarrass herself and me as a viewer? She is unlikable for much of the film—she excessively stalks Arturo, steals his rowing club robe and used cutlery, and manipulates a guy she knows just to get more information about him. One has to commend her attitude about life, though. She’s shameless, true to herself, and adamant to live almost in ignorance about her illness until she’s pushed over the edge.

Arturo, we learn, is your typical, snobbish playboy that dislikes his rich family and is quick to fall in love when someone sees him for who he is. He is, however, neither a total douchebag nor a “sadboi”, if that’s the pop culture archetypes we’re going with. Maggio brings a vulnerability to the character that is quite unexpected of the romantic lead.

But one of the few moments I felt genuinely moved was when Arturo’s mother delivered a short monologue about her own love story with his father as she gently urged her son to follow his heart. Simona Nasi was genuine and compelling throughout her albeit short performance as the classy matron of the Selva household and was a twist on the classic trope of “rich boy’s disapproving mother”.

The beautiful aesthetic and overall look of the film almost salvaged the lacking storylines. Filippi leans heavily into symmetry and wide shots, framing the characters in the doorways, hallways, universities, and grocery aisles of a culturally rich Turin, and it made for a truly enjoyable watch.

And while this rom-com isn’t the most profound or heartwarming story you could come across, nor is it as miserable as The Fault in Our Stars, it has its moments—heartfelt, endearing, pleasantly surprising moments. The kind you know you’ve felt many times before in similar circumstances but will never get tired of feeling.

If you enjoy Lady Bird-esque protagonists, A Cinderella Story-like couple, charming but clichéd moments à la Five Feet Apart or TFIOS, plenty of montages, quick love stories, and unrealistic endings, then Out of My League is definitely for you.

What I do not recommend, though, is using the British English dub on Netflix. Use those subtitles and spare yourself the cringe. Alternatively, do use the English dub and make Out of My League an even funnier comedy.

 

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