Lost in Florence is an open love letter to its namesake, the Italian city of Florence, filtered through the lens of a visiting American football player. Written and directed by Evan Oppenheimer, the romantic drama mixes love, sport and Italian culture to the beautiful backdrop of a timeless city.
Eric Lombard (Brett Dalton) is visiting his cousin Anna (Stana Katic) and her Florentine husband, Gianni (Marco Bonini), when he decides to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Colleen (Emily Atack). Unfortunately for him, she rejects his proposal and flees back to the US, but not before telling him that it’s time to give up on his football dreams and face reality. Devastated, Eric decides to stay in Florence a while longer.
After days of watching him sulk, Gianni decides to bring Eric to a game of “calcio storico”, a sport that seems to meld American football, rugby, and soccer all into one brutal match. Despite the dangers of the historic game, Eric proves himself to the captain, Paolo (Alessandro Preziosi), and joins the team. It isn’t long before Eric meets Paolo’s attractive girlfriend, Stefania (Alessandra Mastronardi), and things start to unravel as the two pursue a secret relationship.
Dalton gives a strong performance as the would-be football star, and expertly plays the indecisive vulnerability of his character. Also memorable is Dalton’s comedic timing, which gets the chance to shine through in one particular scene as Eric pretends to be a local to two inquiring tourists. Alongside him is co-star Mastronardi, who is engaging in her role as Eric’s Italian love interest. Perhaps the most surprising onscreen relationship, however, is that between the two cousins. Katic brings a genuine charm to her character, and the honest and playful affection between her character and Dalton’s is a pleasure to watch.
Whilst Lost in Florence is somewhat predictable, its moments of humour and doses of Florentine culture makes for an enjoyable film. At every turn, the audience is treated to Florence’s astounding architecture and wealth of art, which is proudly woven into the film’s core themes. One can’t help but envy Eric’s brief interlude with the picturesque countryside amongst the vineyards, moped excursions and gelato. In the end, it would come as no surprise if you end up googling flights to Italy once stepping out of the film.
Lost in Florence is out on VOD platforms now.