To Rome with Love (2012)

To Rome with Love
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Infrequent coarse language and sexual references

Director: Woody Allen
Actors: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Roberto Benigni, Alison Pill, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Fabio Armiliato, Alessandro Tiberi, Alessandra Mastronardi

In Woody Allen's ensemble comedy To Rome With Love, various lives intersect in the Italian city. The characters include architect John (Alec Baldwin), a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) in love with his girlfriend's best friend, an opera director (Woody Allen) who finds an undiscovered talent in an unexpected place, and Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni), who inadvertently becomes one of the most famous people in Rome.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 112mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Play
Run Time: 112mins
File Size (Approx): 1 GB
Life is bearable
by Simon Miraudo,

The release of a new Woody Allen film is a special event in the sense that each breath is a special event; we're used to them, we assume the next one isn't far behind, and the very best ones follow periods of unfulfilling gasps. Their constant stream has also become a handy reminder for us all that we are indeed still alive, and the philosophy-loving Allen should feel flattered that Descartes' dictum, "I think, therefore I am," could be supplanted by the equally appropriate, "Woody's still making movies, so we probably still exist." To Rome With Love follows in the footsteps of his biggest ever box-office hit, Midnight in Paris, for which he received yet another Best Original Screenplay Oscar. It may seem cynical for him to follow up that flick with one filmed in another European locale a...

The release of a new Woody Allen film is a special event in the sense that each breath is a special event; we're used to them, we assume the next one isn't far behind, and the very best ones follow periods of unfulfilling gasps. Their constant stream has also become a handy reminder for us all that we are indeed still alive, and the philosophy-loving Allen should feel flattered that Descartes' dictum, "I think, therefore I am," could be supplanted by the equally appropriate, "Woody's still making movies, so we probably still exist."

To Rome With Love follows in the footsteps of his biggest ever box-office hit, Midnight in Parisfor which he received yet another Best Original Screenplay Oscar. It may seem cynical for him to follow up that flick with one filmed in another European locale and with four times as many fantastical scenarios. However, the knowledge that he is usually working on the next project before the last one has even been released, and that each script is often based on ideas scribbled-out decades earlier, should quiet any concerns of Woody potentially 'selling-out.'

Allen and Judy Davis reunite as the parents of a young American (Alison Pill) who has fallen for the left-wing son of a Roman mortician (Fabio Armiliato). Alec Baldwin stars as the older version of Jesse Eisenberg, reflecting on the time in his youth when he strayed from his reliable girlfriend (Greta Gerwig) and fell for her flighty actress friend (Ellen Page). Penelope Cruz plays a prostitute mistaken for the wife of a nervy small-town boy (Alessandro Tiberi) when his actual bride (Alessandra Mastronardi) loses herself in the city. And Life is Beautiful's Roberto Benigni makes his triumphant (well, maybe not triumphant) return as a middle-class bore who inexplicably wakes up one day the most famous man in Italy.

It's a melange of disparate stories that never intertwine; whose only connective tissue is their setting. Time is elastic - the tales either take place over one day or across several weeks, or perhaps exclusively in the characters' minds - and the only reality that Allen conforms to is that of traditional Italian farce (the hiring of modern-day Arlecchino Benigni should indicate as much). Not everything works; the sexual misunderstandings and miscalculations involving Eisenberg, Page, and Gerwig, as well as Cruz, Tiberi, and Mastronardi are neither surprising nor do they pay-off with chaotic climactic confrontations.

The two most cartoonish threads provide the biggest laughs. Benigni is genuinely appealing (for the first time in a long time) as the exasperated everyman suddenly celebrated for reasons he cannot comprehend. Best of all is Allen himself, who the audience still receives so warmly, as a retired music producer eager to make a comeback with the help of his golden-voiced in-law. The catch? He can only sing when in the shower. All this leads to a staging of Pagliacci in which famed tenor Armiliato must perform in front of an audience half-nude and lathered up. This is what people do for Woody Allen.

To Rome With Love is one of those underwhelming efforts of his that disappoints everybody because it's not a masterpiece, but is still better than any other romantic comedy out at the same time. It's his broadest in a number of years, though never as hilarious as his early comic pieces. I wish Allen had avoided the ensemble route and taken just one of his multitude of ideas, preferably the 'shower singing' one, and produced a full-length feature based on that alone. Then, he could have waited until the next picture to deploy Benigni in a full-on commedia dell'arte revival. As it stands, it's a movie of moments - some great, some good, some flat out bad - just as Allen's career has been made up of moments too.

3/5

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Member Reviews (31)

Alasdair
says
Having recently been to Rome, and enjoyed Midnight In Paris, so gave this a go. Within 5 minutes I had a feeling that the Italian Tourist Bureau had offered Woody $10M to do a film about Rome, same as Midnight in Paris. Guess what! They did. Wikipedia tells me Woody was offered funding and scribbled some ideas out. It looks like it. Weak storylines, lame acting, silly dialogue, with a few Woody jokes and Italian scenery. There are better films set in Italy.
Posted Sunday, 24 November 2013 See my other reviews
Not what I expected but enjoyed it even though not one of his best. Was amusing in parts and being taken around Italy was lovely. I had hoped for more from this film.
Posted Tuesday, 15 October 2013 See my other reviews
Faye
says
Great romantic comedy - very funny in parts and beautiful Italian scenery.
Posted Saturday, 5 October 2013 See my other reviews
Only made it to 30 minute mark.
Posted Monday, 9 September 2013 See my other reviews
Graysie
says
Seemed like Woody had a good idea but couldn't flesh it out! I was very disappointed but watched to the end hoping it may improve as I had wasted time already.
Posted Tuesday, 3 September 2013 See my other reviews
A disappointment. One expected better of a Woody Allen film. The story line was stupid and and the humour - what little there was - was very laboured.
Posted Tuesday, 27 August 2013 See my other reviews
kimbo
says
After his acclaimed "Midnight In Paris", Woody Allen chooses the location of the the eternal city and directs "To Rome With Love", a story about a number of people in Italy, some of them American, some others Italian, some others residents or visitors, and the romances/adventures/predicaments they are all involved in. Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page stars in this comedic ode. The location is wonderful of course and style not far from the usual Allen, it makes laugh but frankly doesn't add to much to his filmography. An excellent cast, much to his fans delight.
Posted Tuesday, 20 August 2013 See my other reviews
nd
says
loved the movie regardless of Woody Allen
Posted Tuesday, 16 July 2013 See my other reviews
McLovin
says
Stupidly convoluted and self-seeking. I suppose that would be Woody Allen though.
Posted Wednesday, 3 July 2013 See my other reviews
Maria
says
I saw this on the big screen and again here on Quickflix. Entertaining! Light-hearted and funny. Makes me want to visit Roma.
Posted Saturday, 29 June 2013 See my other reviews
Richard
says
About 1 in 5 of Allen's films are genius (apart from the classics like MANHATTAN, more recent examples are MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, MATCH POINT, DECONSTRUCTING HARRY and BULLETS OVER BROADWAY). A few are woeful (eg HOLLYWOOD ENDING). Many, like TO ROME WITH LOVE are spectacularly mediocre. There are some good elements here - some good acting (Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni), a few funny moments - but as a whole this is pretty patchy & nonsensical. There's also some of the smutty amorality that derailed Vicki Christina Barcelona. The singing-in-the-shower gag is unfunny and Alec Baldwin's character is ridiculous. Mildly amusing.
Posted Saturday, 8 June 2013 See my other reviews
Alex
says
Love Alec Baldwin but cant believe he chose to be in this movie. It was really stupid. Dont like that word but dont know what other word to use. Oh and the ending was disappointing. One of those movies where is ends in the middle of a story.
Posted Thursday, 30 May 2013 See my other reviews
Leisal
says
60% of the time Woody Allen gets it seriously right. The trouble is the remaining 40% which is so 'oh give me a break' that you either want to sue him for stealing a couple of hours of your life or switch off as quickly as possible (I recommend the latter) Unfortunately "To Rome with Love" is in the 40% category
Posted Thursday, 23 May 2013 See my other reviews
Robbie
says
Oh blimey, one of the Worst Movies Ever! Wooden, stilted, self-conscious, "up itself". Tedious, tiresome, dreary, unimaginative. Stellar cast made to look absolutely amateurish by ridiculous, forced dialogue. Woody Allen - time to stop now, mate, you've made us all suffer enough!
Posted Sunday, 19 May 2013 See my other reviews
Deb
says
Awful Woody Allen movie. Don't waste your time!
Posted Sunday, 12 May 2013 See my other reviews
jc
says
I put this movie on my list because it had been mentioned in other reviews for something I've forgotten and when it arrived I thought, Oh no, not Woody Allen again, all his movies are the same! But, while this had the same old Woody Allen character in it - he never changes - it was interesting and I think, after 30 years of watching his movies, I'm starting to get it. This movie doesn't just have one Woody Allen character, it has at least 4 plus. A Woody Allen type character was also played by Roberto Benigni (Leopoldo), Ellen Page (Monica), Jesse Eisenberg (Jack) and Alessandro Tiberi (Antonio) as well as Woody Allen playing Jerry. I've always thought Woody was best at short stories and that continues but I now see that in each of the short stories there is something to learn about the one character. Can't give it 3 stars but it needs more than 2.
Posted Saturday, 4 May 2013 See my other reviews
Emma
says
Boring. Kept thinking it would get better, but it just didn't!
Posted Friday, 3 May 2013 See my other reviews
Livingwell13
says
This was one of the stupidest movies I've watched in ages. I really expected something better from Woody Allen, but it seems he must be losing his talent in his old age. Really silly movie.
Posted Tuesday, 23 April 2013 See my other reviews
Sha
says
Rubbish. Don't waste your time
Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 See my other reviews
Beautiful scenery and nice little story. Didn't like the Monica character much. Pleasant watching but nothing special. Midnight in Paris was better.
Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 See my other reviews
Vara
says
a star for the music, even 2 - none for the movie - total waste of time.
Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 See my other reviews
HM
says
Tedious .
Posted Sunday, 14 April 2013 See my other reviews
Don't bother
Posted Wednesday, 3 April 2013 See my other reviews
GG
says
disjointed and rehashed movie. it was like Woody was just wanting to create some income. it was slightly amusing, but so much material that was similar to other movies. expect something a better. would not recommend it
Posted Wednesday, 27 March 2013 See my other reviews
leusac
says
Despite the famous names on the casting the only thing I have to say about this movie is: Ridiculous! I did not waste too much of time with it because it is so poor, boring and ridiculous that I could not bear more than 20 mins of it.
Posted Monday, 25 March 2013 See my other reviews
Autumn Sadie
says
A film beautiful written and direction by Woody Allen, in hues of yellow- that beautiful soft light in each shot magically transforms a basic image into a perfection of colour balance - this man is a genius. Intricately woven stories showing imagination, ego, thought, freedom and fanfare.... the exploration and understanding of what is means to be loved and to love, in all senses of the words. Who defines celebrity? What makes us who we are? Brilliant themes that I believe many people may not have truly seen- but I am sure Woody knows this, and makes his films for himself, but also to speak to those who see what he sees. I see it, and gosh if you can too, you will be swept away. To Rome With Love is a magnificent undertaking of photographic marvel, clever script-writing and whimsical direction. The final words at the end of the film are well-put - a lovely journey into the vibrancy of Rome, the warmth and depth of characters and the expression of artistry. 5 stars, Woody! Excellent work. 5 stars!
Posted Monday, 25 March 2013 See my other reviews
Purplesue
says
This movie was sent to me even tho I didn't request it, but so glad it was. A typical Woody Allen movie - hilarious in parts & strange in others. Just a shame Woody Allen himself wasn't in it more, his character was certainly the funniest I thought & once again, he plays the neurotic character to the hilt.
Posted Saturday, 23 March 2013 See my other reviews
chookey
says
Didnt care for it and can't stand Woody Allen. Not bad acting. Wouldnt recommend.
Posted Thursday, 28 February 2013 See my other reviews
CC
says
Oh dear! Seems like Woody Allen's mojo has not just hit a flat spot, it's totally fizzled out. This is just rubbish. There's not an original new idea in the whole movie, and it's filled with totally selfish characters, monodimensional stereotypes & ridiculous scenarios. Zero laughs. It's not about love at all. It's main message seems to be that it's better to be famous for being a nobody than just be a nobody, and that in Rome, the means always justifies the end, and everyone's OK with that. 1 star for Judy Davis, who manages to make her character real. Avoid
Posted Wednesday, 27 February 2013 See my other reviews
I also saw it on an Emirates international flight. Great in flight entertainment. Would like to see the whole film on a bigger screen!
Posted Thursday, 7 February 2013 See my other reviews
Saw this on a recent international plane trip, and have to disagree with the critics review. I loved it - actually more than Midnight in Paris.
Posted Wednesday, 17 October 2012 See my other reviews