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
To Rome With Love was originally titled The Bop Decameron, before being changed to Nero Fiddled. Woody Allen changed it when he realized that few people understood the title's loose reference to The Decameron, a medieval collection of novellas. See more »
When Giancarlo gets into the shower on stage, he gives his towel to a stage hand. When he gets out after his aria, the towel is around his waist. There is a brief moment when the camera is on the audience and not on him, but hardly enough for the stage hand to come on stage, hand over the towel and disappear off stage again. 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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All of your heart's fantasies played out in Rome with love, celebrities, death and opera
"To Rome with Love" is a fantasy film; a comedy about people living out their fantasies. The great thing about it is that it's subtle enough that you don't recognize the fantasy element in all of the relationships until later on in the film. The obvious one is when native Roman, Leopoldo Pisanello (Roberto Benigni), becomes a celebrity over night. "It's better to be a celebrity than an unknown." And as Benigni shows, way funnier too.
It's the type of film where everybody gets to see themselves as famous, or supremely interesting, or a guiding angel, or married to a hooker, or the object of a movie star's affections, or on a romantic rendezvous with a thief, or having the ability to change the world with one simple idea. It will take you to wherever your heart desires. And then you'll realize why it's often advised to think with your brain rather than with your heart.
Half Italian and half English, we follow two relationships involving Romans and two relationships with Americans in Rome. A young, Italian, married couple get separated and the young man finds himself living out every other young man's fantasies while the young woman finds herself living out her own fantasies.
Hayley (Alison Pill), a New Yorker transplanted in Rome, falls in love and gets engaged to a successful Roman lawyer. Her parents (Woody Allen and Judy Davis) make the trek across the ocean to meet their in-laws. But Allen's obsession with death and equating retirement with death causes him to create a national disaster (or success story, depending on how you look at it).
Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) is an American architect living in Rome with his girlfriend. First he meets his architecture idol, John (Alec Baldwin), who sees Jack as the younger version of himself. Or more accurately, Jack sees John as the older version of himself (the joke works better that way). Then Jack meets Monica (Ellen Page) who is his girlfriend's best friend and is the object of all men's fantasies.
Page also gets to play the role of the self-obsessed, pseudo-intellectual commonly referred to as "the pedantic one" in most Woody Allen movies. Other than Allen himself, Eisenberg and Baldwin play a sort of tag-team version of the self-deprecating, neurotic hero, although this time with a touch of confidence.
Confidence is not to be confused with optimism because as funny as "To Rome with Love" is, it also has Allen's usual undertone of pessimism. Death is going to come sooner than you would like, but not soon enough. And even if you do get to live out your heart's fantasies, they may not lead to everything that you hoped for. This film is the comedy version of death and negativity, and can provide you with the simple joys in life.
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