Screenwriter Nick Vallelonga’s Follow-Up To ‘Green Book’ Sounds Amazing


At this year’s Academy Awards, Nick Vallelonga took home an Oscar for co-writing Green Book, the story of his father’s friendship with Dr. Don Shirley, which also won for Best Picture. Even assuming one believes that there were more deserving screenplays out there than Green Book‘s (and I certainly did), it’s hard not to enjoy Nick Vallelonga as a character, a guy who seems like exactly the kind of guy whose father was a bouncer at the Copa.

Before this recent brush with critical acclaim, Vallelonga had a long and moderately undistinguished showbiz career, including 50 acting credits (“Door Guy” in Vigilante Diaries), six prior screenwriting credits (including the 1993 Nic Cage vehicle Deadfall), and a wonderful Christmas song.

Which raises the question: now that he’s a bigshot Oscar winner, what will Vallelonga’s next project be?

Luckily it was announced as an exclusive by Deadline scoop robot Mike Fleming back in December. Per Fleming, Vallelonga will be directing his own script for a rom-com called That’s Amore!, which upon further reading is even more on-brand than its title.

According to Deadline, That’s Amore! is “a musical romantic comedy about a 40-year-old bachelor who thinks his best years are behind him and who is resigned to working in his family’s pizza restaurant.”

And how will he get out of this rut? Why, with the help of Patti Amore, of course.

“That is, until he meets Patti Amore, a shy and introverted loner with an overprotective father and a dark secret in her past. The two emotionally damaged people enter into a relationship.”

That’s right, Patti Amore. It’s a perfectly cromulent name for a human person. I’m a-furious that they’re calling this a “rom-com” and not a “rom-a-com.” Fingers crossed for a cameo by Joanie Pepperoni.

Vallelonga, who’s had sit downs with controversy lately, for such things as not consulting the Shirley family for Green Book (Vallelonga says Shirley made him promise he wouldn’t before dying) and tweeting to Donald Trump about Muslims celebrating after 9/11 in 2015 (he apologized), reportedly told Fleming that That’s Amore! is “inspired by films like Marty, Moonstruck and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

Gee, I dunno, Tony, to me it sounds more like Knocked Up wit a nice red sawce. Ay, I’m character arcin’ here!

Needless to say I cannot wait for this, and I hope that Patti Amore teaches Sal Mancialdo or whoever to grow up a little.