A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
In Rome, the America tourist Hayley meets the local lawyer Michelangelo on the street and soon they fall in love with each other. Hayley's parents, the psychiatrist Phyllis and the retired music producer Jerry, travel to Rome to meet Michelangelo and his parents. When Jerry listens to Michelangelo's father Giancarlo singing opera in the shower, he is convinced that he is a talented opera singer. But there is a problem: Giancarlo can only sing in the shower. The couple Antonio and Milly travel to Rome to meet Antonio's relatives that belong to the high society. Milly goes to the hairdresser while Antonio waits for her in the room. Milly gets lost in Rome and the prostitute Anna mistakenly goes to Antonio's room. Out of the blue, his relatives arrive in the room and they believe Anna is Antonio's wife. Meanwhile the shy Milly meets her favorite actor Luca Salta (Antonio Albanese) and goes to his hotel room "to discuss about movies". One day, the middle-class clerk Leopoldo becomes a ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Roberto Benigni is described at the beginning as a "typical middle class Roman" but throughout the movie he acts with his notorious Florence accent - much different from a Roman's. See more »
Sorry, I don't speak English very well. I'm from Roma. My job, as you can see, is to see that the traffic move. I stand up here, an I see everything. All people. I see life. In this city, all is a story.
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"To Rome with Love" is a less successful movie than "Midnight in Paris", which is a little masterpiece, even though it had a much more ambitious goal.
Stories and characters are enjoyable (apart from Benigni, who in the end is less overacting than usual), but the flaw is in the background. Italy, as it is represented, is neither present Italy nor past, probably more similar to the one represented in the movies of the 50s or 60s .
Woody Allen's movie is a sincere tribute to Rome as seen in the history of cinema. However, this 'golden age' portrait, if compared to the present, seems alienating and little plausible: he might as well have done a costume film...
Some highlights are particularly appreciated though: first of all Alec Baldwin's character, then Penelope Cruz's, the "newly-weds story" (which was sufficient by itself to give a shade of Italian Comedy,)and finally the splendid photography. But on the other hand the movie is filled with a sensation of horror vacui that makes it a bit heavy and prolix (which is uncommon in Woody Allen).
It was a pity. Knowing the outstanding results Mr Allen has achieved in portraying human troubles and tragedies, one is left with the curiosity to know how he would have managed to portray (or allude to) the tragicomic current events that Italian reality abundantly offers.
But he would have needed a deeper look, which is hardly possible when one shoots two movies a year. So, instead of a big fresco portrait, the outcome is a nice little postcard.
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