Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Rome With Love

Woody Allen plays a former New York opera director who's come out of retirement to put on a show in Rome he can't resist... and no one can believe -One of many unconnected funny stories in To Rome With Love.
*** out of ****

To Rome with Love is one of Woody Allen's taking-it-easy movies. It's not particularly ambitious compared to Midnight in Paris, as it is a chronicle of unrelated comic stories and relies on his recent success in tourism via cinema. There is no commitment to any particular theme or character. It's just a the telling of different zany stories that are removed from reality in the same way his musical, Everyone Says I Love You was. As a result, some parts are brilliant, some boring, and others full of potential but without room to develop. 

There was a point, years ago, when I suspected Allen wasn't fit to act in his films any more but he's very funny in this one, the first he's appeared in since Scoop. The rest of the cast is also a lot of fun including people like Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page, and Gretta Gerwig who seemed like they had been standing in line to work with Woody for years. There's a good Italian cast, which introduced the cutest actress I've seen in a long time, Alessandra Mastronardi who I hope to see more of. I also never thought I'd see Roberto Benigni in an Allen film.

This is generally Allen at his loose, pleasant, and somewhat anarchistic side. For the most part, I enjoyed myself. 

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