I had recorded some time ago a film whose unpromising blurb was something like 'Romantic comedy in which Pierce Brosnan attends his son's wedding in Italy'. As our Yes Max video recorder is due to be replaced today, I thought it prudent to actually watch the film before it gets lost. The first few minutes were disconcerting: a woman had gone to see an oncologist ... and they were speaking in some foreign language which I originally took be Swedish but turned out to be Danish. Then there was a scene with Brosnan as the CEO of a vegetable/fruit company ... not very promising. I fast forwarded about 15 minutes to a 'meet cute' between the above woman and Brosnan which was taken straight out of 'Cold Feet': the woman backs into Brosnan's car in an airport car park. This reminded me of the exchange between Adam and Rachel in CF: "Who was your driving instructor, Stevie Wonder?" "At least I had a driving instructor".
Once they calm down a little, it turns out that the woman is flying to Italy to attend the wedding of her daughter; strangely enough, Brosnan is flying to Italy to attend the wedding of his son. Of course, it is her daughter marrying his son. Cut to a local Italian airport and then to a drive along countryside which looks extremely familiar: they were driving on the road between Sorrento and Amalfi! From this point on, the charm of this area took over the film, which improved immensely. There were many romantic shots of the gulf of Naples, both early morning and evening, which placed Brosnan's villas in the hills above Sorrento, in the Sant' Agata area.
Apart from general scenic shots, there were a few places which I recognised immediately. There were a few shots of Marina Grande, which is right next to where we stayed in Sorrento the first time. When the ladies went "into town to buy clothes", there was a shot which started with the bell tower then ran down the lane where the 100m pizza was served and into a junction where we ate Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. The wedding took place in the cloisters of San Francesco (pictured on the left). It should be noted that all the locations in Sorrento looked cleaner and less run down than they did when we were there. The film was released in 2012, meaning that it was probably filmed a year earlier, whereas we didn't go to Sorrento until 2014, so the intervening years may have contributed to removing the sparkle from the locations.
There was one thing which nagged at me: wedding guests are seen arriving and departing from Marina Grande by boat. Apart from the fact that most boats leave from Marina Piccolo, why would one travel by boat from Sorrento to Naples (airport)? Obviously, the scenic factor plays a part, but Brosnan was shown arriving by car. Only when watching the credits did this become clear: they all arrived at Salerno airport, not Naples. This explains how come Brosnan travelled by car along the Amalfi coast and why the guests travelled by boat.