michael gallucci

MOVIE REVIEW — TO ROME WITH LOVE

In movie review on 07/04/2012 at 8:00 am

To Rome With Love

This year’s annual Woody Allen movie sorta picks up where 2011’s Midnight in Paris, his best movie in years, left off. It’s once again set in a romantic European city overstuffed with history and camera-ready, on-location sets. It’s populated by an ensemble of Woody-rhythmic actors, including Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, and Alec Baldwin. And in its own way it’s kind of a fantasy. But To Rome With Love tells four different stories, as Allen (who also stars) pans around the city in search of a theme. The stories don’t always work: The one with Baldwin as an architect giving love advice to Eisenberg is mildly bittersweet; the one with Penélope Cruz as a hooker caught in a case of mistaken identity is sorta amusing. But the segment with Allen’s retired opera director reignited by a guy who sings opera fabulously in the shower and the story starring Roberto Benigni as an ordinary Italian trapped in a faux-celebrity hell drag on. Part of To Rome With Love‘s problem is focus: Juggling four tales leaves Allen scattered. The other problem is that it’s not very funny. Allen’s movies always offer a few good scenes. This one has fewer options than usual. 

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