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'To Rome With Love' Directed By Woody Allen

Woody Allen's Beautiful Homage To A Magical City

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To Rome Without Love

  • Jul 6, 2012


Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Starring Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz and Woody Allen


Jack: What’s so great about suffering?

Monica: There’s just something attractive about a man who is plagued by the perils of existence.


Woody Allen remains true to form with his latest international comedy TO ROME WITH LOVE. And by that I mean that he has followed up a genuine hit with a complete misfire. This is Allen’s pattern after all. On occasion, he gets it just right and many people thought he did just that with last year’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. The Oscar winner for Original Screenplay is not my favourite Allen film by any means, but it did certainly enchant with its whimsical look at Paris and people from a cross-generational perspective. His latest hopes to achieve that same success in Rome, but it is such a disconnected collage of familiar Allen talking points that I don’t see the masses swooning this time around. And sadly, if history continues to repeat itself, we will be in store for a few more Allen misses before another hit.


I’m not really sure where to begin with TO ROME WITH LOVE. Alec Baldwin plays an architect vacationing in his former stomping grounds and Jesse Eisenberg is, what I interpret as, a younger version of himself. Baldwin revisits his past by observing Eisenberg (the character Allen himself said he would have liked to play, y’know, if he was fifty years younger) as he waffles between passion (Ellen Page) and stability (Greta Gerwig). Alison Pill referees between her new fiancé, Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti), and her parents (Judy Davis and Allen, making his first film appearance since SCOOP, another real winner), as Allen tries to make Antonio’s father (famed tenor, Fabio Armiliato) into a famous opera singer by staging him in shows where he sings in a shower. Meanwhile, Penelope Cruz plays a prostitute who is mistaken for the new wife of a young businessman (Alessandro Tiberi). They parade around the city with his family while his actual wife (Alessandra Mastronardi) remains perpetually lost in Rome. And then, as if the rest of it wasn’t absurd enough, Roberto Benigni plays a nobody who suddenly and inexplicably becomes an overnight sensation, his every move, from breakfast to bedtime, becomes public fascination. As individual parts, they are more or less amusing and occasionally very witty, but as a whole, they never cohesively come together to mean anything substantial.


TO ROME WITH LOVE was originally called, “Nero Fiddled”. The name change itself exposes what I believe to be the only major selling point about this movie. Clearly, the hope was that those who fell in love with Allen in Paris would do the same in Rome, which is, of course, just as picturesque. The reality is that there will certainly be more interest in this film as a result, but once those patrons get there, I doubt very much they will feel the warmth and charm they are expecting. Before long, everyone who celebrated Allen last year after years of denouncing him as over, will probably find themselves wondering if his late in life romp through Paris, was just a fluke.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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More 'To Rome With Love' Directed B... reviews
review by . January 25, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Surprisingly bad
Four unrelated vignettes involving tourists, newlyweds, and quirky locals play out in Rome.  The characters are neither sympathetic, likable, interesting, nor memorable.  The plots are like fantasy daydreams but still manage to be incredibly tiresome.  I was so glad when the movie was over. On the plus side, the photography is exquisite.  Rome is filmed in a warm, golden light that makes it look like a fairytale city for lovers.  Some very good actors get stuck …
review by . June 20, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'To Rome With Love' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree: Woody Does This City Proud (Video)
                               By Joan Alperin Schwartz      Last year, one of my top 3 favorite films was Woody Allen's 'Midnight In Paris'...an exquisite homage to the magical city of lights.         Now, I'm happy to report, Woody has done it again with 'To Rome With Love'.   …
review by . July 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         To Rome with Love is a bad movie, and yet it employs exceptional talent and showcases many of writer/director Woody Allen’s best loved cinematic hallmarks. It’s constructed as four vignettes that are not only bound by nothing apart from the location but also go nowhere meaningful in and of themselves. Lacking a real plot to string them together, the best one can say is that it’s essentially a series of concepts that weren’t …
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Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Satire, Rome, Celebrity, Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Judy Davis, Catherdals, Alisson Page, Spanish Steps, Roberto Beigni, Fame, To Rome With Love Movie Review, Piazzas, Jesse Eisenberg


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