Featuring: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Fabio Armiliato, Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alessandro Tiberi, Penélope Cruz, Antonio Albanese
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Australian release date: Thursday, 18 October, 2012
Reviewer 1: rolanstein (one-word verdict: patchy)
Reviewer 2: Karen (one-word verdict: lightweight)
Four Rome-based stories wind around each other in the telling without touching.
1. Successful middle-aged architect John (Alec Baldwin), visiting Rome with his wife and friends, takes a solitary walk to revisit old haunts and bumps into Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), an American architecture student who reminds him of his younger self. Turns out Jack is living with girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) in the very same apartment building John inhabited thirty years previously. John slips into a surrealistic mentor role, his primary mission being to dissuade Jack from falling for the seductive charms of Sally’s manipulative unemployed actor friend Monica (Ellen Page).
2. Small-town newlyweds Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) have just moved to Rome to pursue an offer of work from Antonio’s posh uncles. Circumstances separate them, and they find themselves entangled in sexual liaisons, Antonio with pricey escort Anna (Penélope Cruz), Milly with famous Italian actor and pants man Luca Salta (Antonio Albanese).
3. Office clerk and family man Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) is the epitome of ordinariness – until he wakes up one morning to find himself unaccountably famous. Initially aghast at the gaggle of paparazzi stalking him, he quickly acclimatises to his new life of privilege and the other changes fame brings.
4. Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato), a middle-aged mortician with a soaring operatic shower voice, is ‘discovered’ by retired avant garde opera director Jerry (Woody Allen).
Review 1: (rolanstein)
Opening scene: a smartly uniformed traffic controller atop his pedestal in the centre of a roundabout in busy Rome, perfectly tailored trousers cut tight as a 70s disco dandy’s, directing with the panache of an orchestra conductor (how very “Italian”). He turns to the camera and addresses us, the viewer. It appears he’s going to be our narrator.
In having the cop break character thus to lay bare his role as a narrative device, Woody gives us the nod from the outset that we should not expect to lose ourselves in this one a la Midnight In Paris. Hard not to pout. I’m way over self-referentiality. And I loved Midnight. Continue reading To Rome With Love Movie Review