Movie Review: To Rome With Love (2012)

Written and directed by Woody Allen, To Rome With Love, does not a have a lot of cinematography lingering lovingly over the architecture and wonders of Rome. With a Woody Allen movie it's always about the story and the cast of characters, and this movie offers four vignettes of comical situations.

First we meet Haley, a cute American tourist, and Michaelangelo, a handsome blue-eyed Roman, who fall madly in love with each other in a New York minute and soon announce their upcoming nuptuals. Haley's parents, Phyllis (Judy Davis) and Jerry (Woody Allen), come over to meet the fiance and his family. Phyllis is the long-suffering wife who amiably deals with Jerry's new status as a newly retired music executive. As usual, Allen, plays the character as neurotic and cynical, but this is a comedy, so Allen plays the Jerry character with more restraint. While Jerry meets with the fiance's family, he overhears Michaelangelo's father singing opera during his shower and is convinced that he has found an exceptional vocal talent. What Jerry does to bring this new talent to Rome's opera masses provides incredible situations and most of the comic relief in this movie.

The second vignette is of a young, newly married Italian couple, Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) who left their small town of Perdonone to take advantage of a job opportunity that was presented to Antonio by his snobbish family. As this story unfolds we see this winsome couple being slowly corrupted by Rome's elite through a series of mishaps and mistaken identities. Penelope Cruz plays the lush and tempting call girl, Anna, who helps Antonio realize what will make them happy.

John (Alec Baldwin) is a successful architect, who happens to be in Rome on business and revisits his old haunt during his college days when he was an American student studying in the Eternal City. Of the four stories, this has the more serious tale of a man who looks back at his salad days and the wistful turns of events that linger in his memories.

Finally, we meet Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni), your average ordinary Roman, who works as a clerk and inexplicably becomes a celebrity and how he deals with the sudden undeserved fame.

The movie is pure escapism and some of the dialogue is memorable and will have you savoring the lines for future quips. You will enjoy seeing it at the theater but you can enjoy it just as well at home watching it on DVD.

  • Rating: R
  • Time: 112 minutes

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billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I've been following Woody Allen movies for four decades now; I'm sure I'll get around to this one eventually, but Allen has grown stale to me and I'm not sure why. Anyway, great review.

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi billybuc, I think Allen is trying to explore new themes and this latest work is towards that effort.

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