AMAZON ORIGINAL REVIEW! In director Matteo Pilati’s romantic comedy, The Hottest Summer (L’estate Più Calda), the summer heat ignites passions and melts a few brain cells against the romantic Italian landscape. A small village along the southern coast of Sicily is experiencing an excruciating heatwave with record temperatures. Our story centers on best friends Lucia (Nicole Damiani) and Valentina (Alice Angelica), who are spending their last summer together helping Don Carlo (Nino Frassica) run his parish’s summer camp for the local children.
Their summer starts with tension building between the two best friends. See, Lucia will soon begin school in Rome, leaving Valentina behind, as well as her boyfriend, Omar (Mehdi Meskar), who is going to live with his father in Egypt for the summer. On the other hand, Valentina will miss Lucia, though she’s a bit more obsessed with not having a boyfriend.
Just as the camp begins, Don Carlo enlists the help of a priest-in-training, Nicola (Gianmarco Saurino). Valentina instantly falls for the forbidden Nicola and makes every attempt to grab his attention, like an awkward game of tag and a bikini malfunction. As Lucia is one of the counselors in charge of the camp, she promises to spend time with Nicola and say nice things about Valentina. Over time, Lucia and Nicola learn they have much in common, and their defenses begin to wane along with the heat.
“…Valentina instantly falls for the forbidden Nicola and makes every attempt to grab his attention…”
Written by Giuseppe Paternò Raddusa, Tommaso Triolo, and Pilati, The Hottest Summer is a romantic comedy that leans heavily into romance, focusing primarily on the unrequited love between Lucia and Nicola. At the story’s spine is that moment love, lust, and passion take over, and our they’re now placed in a complicated situation. Both Lucia and Nicola are in a relationship with Omar and God (respectively). On top of that, barriers of religious propriety are crossed with Valentina and a bit of nudity, plus Lucia perceived betrayal of her forbidden crush.
Romantic comedies are standard fare, as we all love falling in love. We want our characters to fall for one another and try to figure out all the complications later on. The Hottest Summer works primarily because of our leads. Damiani, Angelica, and Saurino are very pretty people caught in the throws of passion. Then there are their sweaty bodies rubbing against each other… we are in a heat wave, for crying out loud.
Tonally, the comedy is light. Our characters find themselves in awkward situations at the most inappropriate times. Our young leads are pretty h***y, but ultimately the conflict is about the unselfish nature of love that butts right up against its lusty side. Now, added to the comedy is the disapproving older set, including Don Carlo and the nosy Carmen (Stefania Sandrelli). Also, add Omar’s very conservative parents. They act as the B-level antagonists with a dark side.
You’ll enjoy The Hottest Summer for what it is: a light-hearted and slightly h***y rom-com with very beautiful people at the forefront. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if this is your beverage of choice, drink it all in.
The Hottest Summer is available on Amazon Prime Video.
"…a light-hearted and slightly horny rom-com with very beautiful people at the forefront."