Liam, left, and Michael Neeson in “Made in Italy.” Photo courtesy of IFC Films

Geez, don’t you kinda want to go live in Tuscany? It’s probably one of the most glorious spots Italy offers.

You’ve sat through movies filmed in Tuscany. More than 30 films have been shot in one of Italy’s most beautiful and overused regions.

You could be watching beautiful movie stars of multiple countries, sipping wine and slurping pasta while they copulated, wed and got divorced.

Only Central Park in New York holds the record for the most photographed trees.

Yes, it’s breathtaking, inspiring and now, in “Made In Italy,” a film not about pasta bowls, but father and son dismay.

And then, along comes one of this decade’s most celebrated paladins, Liam Neeson, “Taken,” “Taken Two,” “Marlowe” “The Marksman” et al.


This is an Irish samurai we count on to protect us.

The film itself breaks no new ground in either sun-soaked vistas, gorgeous young women or food. It’s all about are father-son conflicts, both Irish men who are given to weeping at the drop of a cannoli.

You’re far better off with Stanley Tucci and his Italian dining.

Yes, Neeson is here, and we love Neeson, even when he only carries fully loaded brushes.

Written and directed by James D’Arcy (“Chicken/Egg”) “Made In Italy” gives us Neeson and Micheál Neeson (“Cold Pursuit”), Neeson’s son (Jack), who actually shows promise.

We’ve not seen him in much of anything yet, but in this spaghetti travelogue, he holds his ground as the son of filmdom’s favorite action hero.


Jack is a young art dealer in London and runs a gallery that he got from his wife Ruth’s papa’s money. Ain’t it always the way?

The wife Ruth (“The Crown’s” Yolanda Kettle, with almost nothing to do but handing Jack his divorce papers and then “poof”) who is divorcing him and closing down his gallery, unless of course, Jack has money to buy her out.

But Jack has no money. His father Robert, (Neeson) a well-known abstract painter, has a bit, but wait a minute, this is Liam Neeson who has lost his way since his wife, and Micheál’s mother, died in an accident, which is here to remind us of their real off screen tragedy.

Suddenly Jack has a solution. Together, the two will drive from London to Tuscany, where Robert owns a house, now in a condition so broken and sad that the ghosts have taken their wailing and left. But wait, the house has a spectacular view, one we’ve seen before, and overlooks a fabulous restaurant owned by a lovely divorced woman. Feel better?

A few feeble attempts to resurrect the place are made with brush and water. OMG the house has running water. But serious work is required.

It seems so futile, that father and son take a break and go for a meal at a splendid tourist cafe run by, look out, here comes the love affair for Jack, or maybe daddy, in the form of Natalia (Valeria Bilello). Don’t you miss the simple Italian names like Loren?


Natalia is divorced from a man who looks like a mafioso and has a sweet, bright daughter. We can see where this is headed.

Things will go well, and then not well, then well again, and end with arias at the sunset.

“Made in Italy” streams on AMC+.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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