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To Rome With Love Review
To Rome with Love
Woody Allen scores again--writing, directing and starring in one of his satirical comedies about society's frailties and relationships--between men and women, parents and children, and the vacuity of television and celebrity.
Woody's character is a retired opera director, and he and his psychiatrist wife are visiting their young daughter in Rome who has become engaged to a handsome young Italian lawyer. Woody is disappointed when he discovers that his daughter's fiance's father Giancarlo is a small-time mortician. However, he is impressed by his Giancarlo's virtuoso voice when he overhears him singing in the shower. Woody persuades Giancarlo to appear for a tryout by a local opera company. The tryout flops, but Woody remains convinced that Giancarlo should be singing Pagliacci at La Scala and in New York. However, it dawns on Woody that the man sounds spectacular only when he's singing in the shower. So he stages a rave performance with Giancarlo singing Pagliacci in a shower on the theater stage.
A second vignette is a farce involving a recently married couple, Antonio and Milly, and a prostitute played by Penelope Cruz. Just as Antonio was changing his clothes, she appears at his hotel room, and claims that a session with her was already paid for, and won't take no for an answer. They are surprised in bed his uncles and aunts who came for lunch and to meet his new wife. (Milly had left their hotel room to get her hair done before meeting the relatives.) Antonio avoids immediate disaster by introducing Penelope to his stuffy relatives as his wife Milly. She accompanies Antonio and his relatives to an exclusive party where many important business associates were present. Turns out that nearly a dozen of them were clients of Penelope.
A third subplot involves Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig, students in Rome living together. Greta makes the mistake of inviting a friend from the states played by Ellen Page to move in with her and Eisenberg. One thing quickly leads to another and Eisenberg falls for Page against the advice of his acquaintance and possibly phantom mentor played by Alec Baldwin.
A fourth vignette is a send-up of the inanity of television celebrity. Alberto Benigni plays a clerk who suddenly, for no reason, becomes a TV celebrity constantly pursued by papparazzi and idiot TV interviewers.
To Rome with Love doesn't measure up to Midnight in Paris, but it's an entertaining, quite clever satirical comedy.
6-21-12NYTimes--A.O. Scott Review of "To Rome With Love"
- Woody Allen’s Latest, ‘To Rome With Love’ - NYTimes.com
Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” is the tale of an anxious, New Yorkish intellectual addled by conflicting desires.
7-2-12NewYorker--David Denby Review of "To Rome With Love"
- Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” Review : The New Yorker
Woody Allen’s new movie is light and fast, with some of the sharpest dialogue and acting that he’s put on the screen in years...
- Woody Allen
Woody Allen (b. Allan Stewart Konigsberg, 12-1-35) a screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, and playwright, whose career spans over half a century. He's won 4 Academy Awards. He's also a jazz clarinetist who performs in small NYC clubs.