High school can be tough, and seems especially an ordeal when you watch American teen movies. It seems modern Italian teens, despite all the social media and internet on hand, have these old problems too. Director Ivan Cotroneo’s film One Kiss, soon to play at the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, shows that high school, friendship and love are still the things that make or break your adolescent years.
Antonio (Leonardi Pazzagli) is a basketball player who is rejected by his teammates, and Blu (Valentina Romani) is outcast as the school for her reputation for having slept with a lot of boys. They are united by the new kid at school, Lorenzo (Rimau Ritzberger Grillo), a gay student who has been adopted and is taunted by his classmates, but simply doesn’t care what they think. Lorenzo befriends both Antonio and Blu, and they all start going on outrageous misadventures around school and town, but not without one another’s feelings and family problems getting in the way.
One Kiss is really a terrific teen flick with an Italian twist. The three lead actors are really believable, especially Grillo with playing the very flamboyant and likable Lorenzo. It’s a modern film with its frequent use and references to social media, often appearing on screen (giving the film a visual coolness), but old school at the same time when using ’80s pop music and the kids dress up in ’80s vintage clothing.
One Kiss is a fun film to watch to see these misfit kids hang out and have the time of their lives together, with both the emotional and visual display the film presents. However, that joy makes the bleaker parts of the film that much more depressing. Lorenzo’s journey in particular is sad, with him imaging all his peers at school loving him and cheering him on, and then have reality crashing into his fantasy with his classmates’ insults.
Both a classic teen story and a modern one full of current stuff like social media and mobile phones, One Kiss is certainly an absolute treat to watch that people going to the Lavazza Italian Film Festival should not miss.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Friday 9 September 2016