Movies such as ‘Italian Studies’ are the exact reason why I despise the phase “Style over substance”.
It is difficult to explain what this film is about because the movie itself never commits to a plot or a narrative. Vanessa Kirby stars as a popular author Alina Reynolds, who wanders aimlessly in the streets of New York City as she tries to regain pieces of her memory that she loses when asked the question “You don’t remember Simon?”
No explanation is given to why Alina would suffer from such profound memory loss short of massive brain trauma nor does it deal with the potential dangers wandering around a city like NYC on her own without the slightest idea of any details about her.
The film presents Alina’s memory loss as the central conflict of the film but then abandons it halfway to present itself as a documentary that doesn’t mesh together with the film’s opening act. The film dances around the elephant in the room like Puff Daddy in a 90s R&B video.
Adam Leon is the writer and director of this project so if the film feels like the type of pretentious arthouse piece that only ivy league student debt zombies could enjoy, you have your answer.
Even with a runtime of 70 minutes before the credits start rolling, ‘Italian Studies’ moves at the pace of a cow with a massive foot abscess proving that the lives of modern day New York City progressives isn’t as interesting as advertised.
If Vanessa Kirby wasn’t the lead for this movie, you wouldn’t have anything redeemable going for it. Viewers are more likely to sympathize with the dog that she left at the hardware store than the woman who would realistically be beaten and mugged in 2022 New York City.
Italian Studies is only intriguing for about 15 minutes before losing itself in a cinematic void of nothingness.