To Rome With Love
- Rated: M - Contains offensive language and sexual references
- Running Length:1hr 52mins
- Cast:Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Robert Benigni
Woody Allenâ€™s latest is not so much a love letter to Rome as a nod to the great films and actors of Italian cinema. Unfortunately the references are often so oblique, only someone with a great knowledge of Italian cinema would pick up on them, thus making To Rome With Love much less entrancing than last yearâ€™s Midnight in Paris.
Multiple stories thread through the streets of Rome. A young American girl stops a nice-looking Italian man to ask directions to the Trevi Fountain. Within minutes theirs is a full blown romance and Mom and Dad are summoned to meet the in-laws. This meeting does not go well, with Woody Allenâ€™s reluctantly retired music producer becoming enchanted by his new son-in-lawâ€™s fatherâ€™s singing in the shower. He shoves the unwilling singer into the spotlight with disastrous results.
In another thread a young American architect finds himself torn between two very different women and a voice in his head argues with him as he struggles to decide which, if either, is the best for him.
In another twist on â€˜the other womanâ€™, a young Italian couple on their honeymoon become separated, the wife winding up with an older movie star while her husband struggles to impress business associates with a prostitute who stumbled into his room accidentally.
The final thread deals with the idea of celebrity as everyman Roberto Begnini finds himself suddenly famous for no reason at all.
Rome looks beautiful and there are some wonderful performances, most notably from Judy Davis and the psychiatrist wife who analyses her husband mercilessly.
While not as good as Allenâ€™s best, To Rome With Love is fast paced and fun. There are a lot of ideas and references too, but most fly by too quickly to notice.