“Love & Gelato” is a coming-of-age romantic film that revolves around an awkward teenager, Lina Emerson. Lina’s mother, Hadley, has recently succumbed to cancer. She was quite a character, and that is evident from the way she wrote down her funeral wish list. Black was not allowed at her funeral as she wanted everyone to wear spice pumpkin, her favorite color. Lina missed her mother, her support system, and her best friend Addie, who was there by her side to comfort her. Even though the two were quite the odd pair, their friendship was rock solid. Lina had to travel to Italy to fulfill a promise that she made to her mother. The plan was for them to travel together during the summer, but now Lina has to go there by herself. That is how her mother wanted it. Lina had many fears, and an intercontinental trip was one of them, but she managed to gather up the courage and indulge in the adventure that awaited her.
‘Love & Gelato’ Plot Summary: What Did Lina Find In Italy?
Lina Emerson finally arrived in Italy, and upon arrival, she met with her mother’s best friend, Francesco. The one thing Lina learned right after reaching Italy was that nobody cared about the speed limit. Francesco drove the car like there was no tomorrow, and Lina was too shocked to react. She introduced Lina to Howard Riley, a school teacher and Francesca’s cousin, who used to be her mother’s friend. Howard met Hadley (Lina’s mother) when he came to Italy to study at the university. After reaching Francesca’s house, Francesca handed her the diary her mother had left for her daughter to read. Even though, initially, Lina was not too sure if she wanted to read what her mother had secretly written, she later gave in to it. Through her written words, Lina felt closer to her mother, and she admired the city through her mother’s eyes. It is through the diary that we get to know how Hadley met Francesca. She was staying in Italy with a loving family, and their daughter was of Hadley’s age. Francesca was initially disappointed that it was not an American boy who came to stay with her family, but gradually they became the best of friends. Her mother mentioned a man she met with whom she fell in love. She referred to him as’ X, ‘and Lina was desperate to know who her mother’s lover was.
Meanwhile, her life in Italy was nothing short of an adventure. She met with a young man named Alessandro Albani, who showed romantic interest in her from the moment they met. He was enrolled at Harvard University and belonged to a wealthy family. After meeting Lina, Alessandro contacted her and invited her to an opera show that was organized by his family for charity. Lina was puzzled by how he got hold of her number; it happened to be Addie who provided him with it. Addie had secretly created a social media profile for Lina and Ale, and they followed her after they met. Lina was furious at Addie’s guts to create a profile that was simply pretentious. She was not the cool girl Addie projected her to be, and she decided to be honest about herself with Ale. Her trouble did not end there. She also met with an adorable Italian guy named Lorenzo Ferrazza. While Ale showed her the glitz and glam Italian lifestyle, Lorenzo introduced her to the local cuisine and places that had their charm. Lina caught herself getting attracted to Lorenzo, even though she believed he had a girlfriend. A love life crisis and finding her father, whose identity her mother had always kept a secret, life in Italy was packed with adventure for Lina.
Was Ale Cheating On Lina? Who Was Lina’s Father?
Francesca took it upon herself to get Lina ready for the Opera event. She trained Lina to wear high heels even though she was not too happy about it. Francesca believed Lina had to be confident, and to feel strong; she had to look the part. She did Lina’s makeup and dressed her in a sparkling outfit. Lina surely did look like the part, but she did not feel confident enough with the person she had become. She was not the woman she was pretending to be, and that bothered her. She confessed this feeling of pretension to Ale, who did not seem to care at all. He was delighted that Lina had come to the event, and nothing else mattered. Lina was taken aback by the opera; she grabbed hold of Ale’s arm. Ale, who was controlled by his father and had to behave a certain way to keep his family happy, decided to break free from the restrictions. He and Lina stepped out of the room, and Ale challenged her to get a hold of him. He ran all across the building, and Lina was scared by the consequences they had to face. After running around together, they were finally caught by the security guards, who asked them to join the party. His father warned Ale about his behavior, and he commented on his friendship with Lina. According to him, Lina was just another woman in Ale’s life whom he would forget the next day. This broke Lina’s heart, and she left the house. On her way out, she bumped into Lorenzo, who was working as a chef at the party. Her dress was spoiled, and Lorenzo gave her his extra clothing and a lift back home. On their way to Francesca’s house, he stopped at a place to introduce Lina to the secret delicacies of Italy. It was her time spent with Lorenzo that helped her get over the depressing day.
But soon enough, Ale called Lina to make up for the previous night. He invited Lina to his house and asked her to carry a bathing suit. They went on a drive and took a dip at a waterfall. This was something Lina had perhaps never imagined herself doing, and she was glad that Ale helped her experiment. In that moment of affection, she could not help but kiss Ale. She explained the event in detail to Addie and how she and Ale were planning a future together. Addie, being the best friend and social media queen, figured out that Ale was with another woman at that very moment. Lina was devastated. She felt cheated and decided to confront Ale. She walked into the restaurant and publicly shamed him for promising her a forever romance. She gorged on the patisserie as she lost her faith in love, and she was not surprised to learn that her mother had met the same fate. The man she fell in love with disappeared from her life. In all the chaos that was unfolding, Howard comforted her. He explained how complicated love was and tried to console a heartbroken teenager.
After going through the diary, she started to feel that Howard was the one her mother was in love with. She had mentioned his name as she talked about her pregnancy. Realizing how the diary might have impacted Lina’s mind, Howard confessed the truth. He agreed that he was in love with Hadley, but he never dared to express his love for her. It was Matteo Fossi, her photography teacher, who stopped contacting Hadley once she got pregnant with his child. Yet Hadley decided to keep the baby. Hadley never wanted Lina to meet Fossi because he was not a good person and definitely not the father Lina needed. But out of curiosity and for the sake of closure, Lina decided to travel to Florence to meet her father at his studio.
‘Love & Gelato’ Ending Explained: Did Matteo Fossi Accept Lina As His Daughter?
On her way to Florence, Lina met Lorenzo. Lorenzo was traveling to audition at a cooking school. She confided in him what she had read in the diary and the reason why she was traveling to Florence. He tried to cheer her up with the pistachio gelato he was carrying with him, an important element for his audition. And surely, the gelato did help Lina feel better. They walked around Florence, and he introduced her to the places he loved, particularly a grocery store where everything was freshly bought. Lorenzo discussed Giorgia, whom Lina had assumed to be his girlfriend. They had dated for two years, but a long-distance relationship was difficult to maintain, and they had broken up recently. Lina asked him the reason for his bitter relationship with Ale. He stated that Ale used to be his best friend, but later on, they stopped being friends. What ruined their relationship was when one of Ale’s friends remarked about his mother’s sexuality, and Ale did not stop him from doing so. The trip to Florence helped the two bond, and when he was about to leave for the audition, Lina asked him to not feel shy about being different. She believed that he would do his best if he continued to be contrary. He was pleased to know how Lina felt about him. When Lina felt like running away rather than meeting her father, his affirming words helped her feel confident. The two left to face their fate and planned to meet at the train station in the evening.
Matteo Fossi refused to meet Lina once she had mentioned that she was his daughter. Furious, Lina looked at the man in his eyes and took the picture of her mother that was hanging on the studio wall. Lorenzo noticed that Lina was crying at the station. He comforted her, but he, too, did not succeed in the audition. The two grieving souls found solace in each other, and in that emotional moment, they kissed. After returning to Rome, Lorenzo expressed that he wanted to make their relationship work, but Lina did not feel the same way. She thought it was a mistake. Lina planned to return home to the United States, and Howard could not change her mind. Francesca asked Howard to let her stay, or else he would regret not doing so. She had seen him suffer for eighteen years simply because he could not hold on to Hadley. The next morning, Addie was brought to Italy by Howard, and Lina decided to stay back for her friend.
They went to a party organized at Ale’s place. Addie was impressed by his wealth and popularity, but Lina did not care about it. Ale expressed that the woman he was with was a friend and that he was still romantically interested in her. Just then, Giorgia came by and discussed how Lina had kissed Lorenzo. She also mentioned that Lorenzo was going to Paris to study at the Culinary Academy. Hearing this, Ale tried to impose how they were similar because they both were messed up; Lina could not keep her cool and angrily left. Lina wanted to meet Lorenzo before he left, and Addie got hold of a scooter to help her reach the airport. After meeting Lorenzo, she explained that their kiss was not a mistake, but she also believed that doing the right thing at the wrong time was not the way to go. She always thought that she had to choose between the two men she met, but after reading the diary, she realized that she had to choose herself, and that is all that her mother wanted. Lorenzo was not upset; he understood what Lina meant and accepted it.
Howard asked Lina if she would accept him as his adopted father. Lina was overjoyed to have a family and deferred college for a year. She stayed back in Italy to find herself and spend time with her father. Her mother never wanted her to meet Matteo Fossi; it was always Howard who she believed would take care of Lina. She loved the man, but they met at the wrong time, but with Lina, Howard found his way to be closer to Hadley. At the end of “Love & Gelato,” Lina strolls around the streets of Italy, taking pictures with her mother’s camera. She chanced upon Lorenzo, who was now a chef and had bought the secret patisserie place that he planned to name “The contrary.” It was Lina who made him believe that being different made him better and that helped him in his culinary journey. He invited her to taste Nonna’s famous gelato. Lina happily agreed, but this time they rode her bike. Lina has become confident; she has learned to face her fears, and, most importantly, she has learned the importance of love that goes into making life and gelato better!
The ending also indicates that there is a possibility of romance brewing between Lorenzo and Lina. They both were equally goofy and awkward, perhaps that was the reason why they understood each other. Lorenzo respected Lina’s decision, and the two took the time to discover themselves before starting a relationship. I think we knew Lorenzo was the one the moment he gave the gelato he was carrying to the audition to Lina. He wanted Lina to cheer up and nothing else mattered.
“Love & Gelato” is a 2022 Drama Romance film directed by Brandon Camp.