Toscana, a romantic drama film is the latest addition to Netflix, released on 18 May 2022. The film is directed by Mehdi Avaz and stars Anders Matthesen as Theo (Anders is a famous Danish stand-up comedian & actor), Cristiana Dell’Anna as Sophia and Andrea Bosca as Pino. The film follows the story of a chef – Theo, who goes back to his childhood home to sell it but surprisingly discovers that there’s more to life and to love.
The film has a runtime of about 1 hour 30 minutes and it is available in both Danish & English language.
Netflix synopsis of the film reads as:
“When a Danish chef travels to Tuscany to sell his father’s business, he meets a local woman who inspires him to rethink his approach to life and love.”
-Toscana Review does not contain any spoilers-
Plot: Estranged Father Who Left Family Heritage in Tuscany
Toscana is the story of a famous chef who lives in Denmark, his name is Theo Dahl. Although he is famous, his restaurant is in need of funding to keep running and needs to ace the investor dinner meeting. However, just before the dinner, he learns that his estranged father, whom he hasn’t seen since childhood, is dead and has left him his property called Ristonchi in Tuscany, Italy.
Unfortunately, the investor meeting doesn’t go well and that compels Theo to visit his childhood home and maybe sell it to get some funds for his restaurant. Reminiscing the old memories and being present in the place that was once his home, makes him feel a lot of emotions and feelings that he had repressed. He meets Sophia, who was close with his father and now runs the place after his death.
With Sophia, Theo learns to open his heart and let go of the obsession with precision and perfection. He starts to appreciate the little joys of life that were missing in his life in Denmark and feelings blossom in his heart for Sophia. But she is getting married to Pino in a few days and when she learns that Theo is selling the property, it creates a conflict between them.
My Take: Eat, Laugh & Love
If I had to sum up this film in three words then I would say those words, however overused and slightly cringe they might sound. They make up the base of the plot. An exceptional chef, who demands the same perfection from everyone and that leads him to live a dissatisfied life. A carefree woman who lives her life on free will and impulse. When these opposites meet they learn to make great food and eat it, laugh at the things out of their control and love nature, the people around them and most importantly themselves.
The common link between them is Theo’s father. For him, he is a bad person who left his mom and him at a young age whereas, for Sophia, Theo’s father is a kind man who gave her a home and taught her everything that she is today. Parents’ separation has a deep effect on the child’s mind and similarly, for Theo, it’s a painful memory that might have had a subconscious effect on making him an overachieving perfectionist as an adult.
By spending his time in Tuscany and interacting with the community of people who live there, he tries to understand his father and his way of life. The only thing missing is the aesthetics of making a dish or food in general. I believe the film could use a few montages of the process of preparing the dishes that they are serving. It would only add to the beautiful landscape of Tuscany, the heart of Italy.
Final Thoughts: Stream it or Skip it?
Toscana on Netflix is a sweet, light-hearted film and perfect for a quick watch. The film tries to give a beautiful message through it that translates to, “as extraordinary (special) as everyone else”. No one is born special but everyone can become one if they believe in themselves. It is a life-affirming story about Theo, who is looking for validation and happiness from things like expanding his restaurant and learns that maybe he needs to rethink his decisions and the life that he wants to live.
Toscana is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.