Little Italy (2018 film)

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Little Italy
Little Italy film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDonald Petrie
Produced by
Screenplay by
Music byMateo Messina
CinematographyThom Best
Edited byMichele Conroy
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 24, 2018 (2018-08-24) (Canada)
  • September 21, 2018 (2018-09-21) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
  • Canada
  • United States

Little Italy is a 2018 romantic comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, based on a screenplay by Steve Galluccio and Vinay Virmani. The film stars Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen, Alyssa Milano, Adam Ferrara, Gary Basaraba, Linda Kash, Andrew Phung, Cristina Rosato, Danny Aiello and Andrea Martin.


Nikki and Leo both grow up in "Little Italy" in Toronto, where their families are running a pizza business together. However, the verbal conflict between Sal and Vince (fathers of Nikki and Leo respectively) caused their pizza business to deteriorate, thus they founded their own pizza businesses next door to each other, resulting in Nikki leaving the family to go to London to study cooking. However, Chef Corinne temporarily gives Nikki a break for two weeks to give time for her to work on a cooking menu for the upcoming cooking exhibit.

Upon arriving home in Toronto, Nikki meets Leo at the bar and they drunkenly play soccer in a midst of the thunderstorm. The next day, she is welcomed by her family on her arrival. Vince, Leo and other crew are later arrested for lacing the pizza with marijuana during the party but they are released shortly after. Leo later forms a relationship with Nikki and they sleep together after riding around the town, reliving their childhood memories. Nikki receives a call from Corinne, saying that she wants a cooking menu, otherwise she will promote another chef. Struggling, Nikki expresses her regrets to Leo and confronts him for focusing on soccer instead of the pizza business. Meanwhile, their respective grandparents, Franca and Carlo, become engaged. Franca finally agrees to marry Carlo despite a promise from her late husband not to remarry.

Franca and Carlo arrange a dinner for the families. During the dinner Franca and Carlo announce their engagement, causing Sal and Vince to begin exchanging insults. Vince decides to enter a pizza competition against Sal saying that whoever loses will "go out" from “Little Italy”. When the two realize that they are banned from the competition because of a fallout during a previous competition, they decide to have Nikki and Leo enter the competition. Nikki refuses to compete, and she and Leo start arguing about who let who win in soccer when they were kids. When Nikki says that Leo won every time because she let him win, Leo says, “Yeah, like you let me win last night," alluding to them sleeping together. She slaps him and storms out in anger.

At the competition, Leo is declared the winner and Nikki departs to the airport for London. However, Leo refuses to take the trophy after he realizes that Nikki had purposely switched their sauces so that Leo would stay in Little Italy. Realizing that Nikki has gone to the airport, Leo and the family goes after her. They catch her and Leo pledges to stay with her as she is the only one he wanted, not the pizza or the war between their fathers. Nikki departs, but shortly after, comes back, and Nikki declares her love to Leo after they kiss. After that, they ask Sal and Vince about their fight, in which they admit that the fight was about their parents Franca and Carlo. Back in 1999, after winning the competition, Sal and Vince argued about naming the winning pizza after their respective parent, resulting in the beginning of the rivalry. Franca and Carlo finally announce that they are getting married. Sal and Vince hug each other, formally ending the rivalry.

Some time later, the families celebrate at the pizza restaurant where Nikki has invited Corinne, who reveals that she had to shut down her restaurant after receiving negative reviews from critics. Nikki and Leo, along with the other crew, all dance together.



In July 2017, it was announced Hayden Christensen, Emma Roberts, Andrea Martin, Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, Adam Ferrara, Gary Basaraba, Andrew Phung, and Jane Seymour had joined the cast of the film, with Donald Petrie directing from a screenplay by Steve Galluccio and Vinay Virmani. Pauline Dhillon and Ajay Virmani served as producers on the film, while Fred Fuchs, Tiffany Kuzon, Patrick Roy and Christina Kubacki served as executive producers, under their Firsttake Entertainment, Telefilm Canada and Gem Entertainment banners, respectively. Entertainment One handled distribution in Canada.[2][3]

Principal photography began in June 2017.[4]


The film was released in Canada on August 24, 2018, by Entertainment One.[5] and in the United States on September 21, 2018, by Lionsgate.[6]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 21% approval rating with an average rating of 4.3/10 based on 14 reviews.[7]


  1. ^ "Little Italy". Lionsgate Publicity. Lions Gate Entertainment. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  2. ^ First Take Entertainment (July 6, 2017). "Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen star in romantic comedy "Little Italy" directed by Donald Petrie". PR Newswire. Cision. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  3. ^ Kay, Jeremy (November 1, 2017). "Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen rom-com 'Little Italy' lands at Voltage". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Vera, Kelby (June 8, 2017). "Mamma mia! Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen keep casual in jeans and sneakers on the set of Little Italy". The Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Perrone, Kristen (July 12, 2018). "The 'Little Italy' Trailer Is Perfectly Cheesy & It Can Have A Pizza My Heart". Elite Daily. BDG Media. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Boone, John (July 12, 2018). "Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen Are the Romeo and Juliet of Pizza in 'Little Italy' Trailer (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. CBS Television Distribution. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Little Italy (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 23, 2019.

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