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Not among Allen's greats, but still a lot of fun
runamokprods9 November 2012
While not great Woody Allen – it's neither profound, moving nor funny enough for that title, it is quite enjoyable.

The film is made up of four intercut short stories, that share little other than the fact they're set in Rome. Some have fantasy elements, some are more absurdist, others more straightforward character farce.

But somehow, though they don't make much of a logical grouping, the whole thing is lighthearted and fun enough that it seems grumpy to pick on it.

Sure some jokes fall flat and some ideas seem unfulfilled, but a lot of it is wonderfully acted and cleverly written. And at a time when so many comedies are aimed only at 15 year olds, even 2nd tier Woody, simply telling playfully comic tales, is a welcome sight.
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All of your heart's fantasies played out in Rome with love, celebrities, death and opera
napierslogs17 July 2012
"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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A movie for fans
juanpimartinez20 July 2012
As time passes Woody Allen is able to transform himself and his movies. Don't get me wrong, it is obvious that we are seeing a Woody Allen film from the initial credits, but he still can surprise us.

We see different stories through out the film. Some show aspects of the Italian lifestyle and culture, presented from a beautiful Rome; that city that Allen wants to present to us, his Rome. But other stories present again the issues that have been important to him, those problems that for centuries have raised for humankind: love, infidelity, death, success, fame, happiness; those issues that Allen simply loves to discuss.

The cast is charming and I want to highlight a sincere Roberto Benigni; Jesse Eisenberg, that resembles perfectly the young Woody Allen; and the beautiful and talented Ellen Page, with a powerful character that makes you impossible not to fall in love with her.

I have the huge bias of been a Woody Allen fan and that is probably why I enjoyed so much this movie. It is thrilling to see him acting again. See all that neurosis again in the big screen. This movie surprises, can be as surreal as Buñuel would be and also as real as Allen is with daily problematics.
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Four Independent Stories of Love, Adultery and Dreams in Rome
claudio_carvalho13 January 2013
In Rome, the America tourist Hayley (Alison Pill) meets the local Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti) on the street and soon they fall in love with each other. Hayley's parents, the psychiatrist Phyllis (Judy Davis) and the retired music producer Jerry (Woody Allen), travel to Rome to meet Michelangelo and his parents. When Jerry listens to Michelangelo's father Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato) 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 (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) 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 (Penélope Cruz) 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 (Roberto Benigni) becomes a celebrity and is hunted by the paparazzo. A couple of days later, he is forgotten by the media.

The American architect John (Alec Baldwin) travels to Rome with his wife and feels nostalgic since he lived in the city thirty years ago when he was a student. He meets the student of architecture Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), who lives on the same street that John had lived, and he invited to drink a coffee at his house. Jack lives with his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) that invites her best friend Monica (Ellen Page) to stay with them in their house. But soon Jack has a crush on Monica.

"To Rome with Love" is a romantic movie by Woody Allen with four independent stories of love, adultery and dreams in the Eternal City. The most curious is that the stories are not entwined like usually happens in this type of movie.

The story of the caretaker that can only sing operas in the shower is sarcastic, with the typical humor of Woody Allen that performs a neurotic and insecure character.

The story of Antonio and Milly is funny, with the sexy Penélope Cruz performing a prostitute with a perfect Italian.

The story of Leopold is a joke with the present moment of the world, where mediocrity becomes famous without reason only because, for example, she is hot or he is a soccer player.

The story of John is thought provoking, with a mature man returning to his youth trying to fix his own mistakes. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Para Roma, com Amor" ("To Rome with Love")
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Enjoyable Woody Allen Flick
Loving_Silence22 June 2012
Although nowhere near Woody Allen's great films like Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and her Sisters and Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love is still a charming, and entertaining film. Some have called the film, Woody Allen's worst film, and I simply don't agree. (His worse film is Scoop) The whole cast works nicely and all the performances are all around great. My favorite being Judy Davis, she stole the show for me.

I found some of the scenes rushed and haphazardly constructed and some of the dialogue overwritten and under-rehearsed. The film at times, felt very lazy and a bit fake, at times. At 112 Mimutes, To Rome with Love is a good 20 minutes longer than most Woody Allen films, and it shows. The movie was overlong and a bit boring at times. There weren't enough charming and funny scenes to compensate for it's running time. Some scenes should've definitely been cut. Woody Allen's latest effort is flawed, but definitely not a bad film, as most are saying.

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A Half Cooked Italian Dish
littlemartinarocena30 June 2012
Rome must be one of the most photogenic cities in the world, no matter how you look at it or who is looking. The Rome of Fellini with all its magic corners or Pasolini's Rome with its poetic darkness. Woody Allen's Rome is pure postcard glitter. What a let down. This is Allen's weakest script so far. Seems undecided and downright lazy. The tribute to Fellini's "The White Sheik" verges on theft and the Italian actors delivering their lines in Italian look and sound as participants of a provincial amateur hour. Even Oscar winner Roberto Benigni gives a pale and tired life to a thoroughly underwritten character. Allen himself is very good as is Judy Davis as his wife. But, I wonder what was in the writer/director's mind. I believe that in Allen's filmography from best to worst, To Rome With Love will appear very near the bottom. But, let's not despair, the master is already prepping his next flick.
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Allen's Most Disappointing Film from Europe
nolandalla-447-69593011 August 2012
Woody Allen's seventh postcard from Europe lacks enough postage. It should be rubber-stamped "Return to Sender." This is undoubtedly the most disappointing of all his films set in Europe.

Following a lifetime spent channeling New York's neurotic side, creating some of the most memorable roles in modern film history (Annie Hall, Leonard Zelig, Danny Rose, and of course – Allen himself), the 76-year-old film legend abruptly departed his familiar Manhattan backdrop in 2004, taking his introspective wit across the Atlantic, initially to London, then Barcelona, followed by Paris, and now Rome.

His latest release To Rome with Love has all the ingredients of yet another tasty Allen stew. But in the end, all we sample is watered-down broth, poorly seasoned, with stale recollections of the spicy flavors that made Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Midnight in Paris so thoroughly original and enjoyable.

To be fair to Allen, he's coming off his biggest commercial success ever, which is a hard act to follow. Since his heyday as a writer-director-star during the 1970s, Allen's films haven't performed particularly well at the box office. But like summer stock theater, they tend to make just enough money to keep Allen atop the list of directors most actors long to work with. For that reason, Allen pretty much gets his pick of the litter as to who he casts in his films, and often writes characters perfectly suited to the typecasting.

Indeed for Allen, the blockbuster 2011 hit Midnight in Paris was tough to match – either critically or commercially. But not only does To Rome with Love fall far short, it doesn't even belong on the same continent.

The plot is very familiar territory for fans of Allen's films. Three stories are supposedly entwined, full of quirky characters, ultimately providing audiences with humor, greater understanding, and ultimately-- revelation. That was supposed to be recipe.

Trouble is, this time around none of the stories Allen has penned are particularly interesting or memorable. Predictably, Allen does manage to steal one segment, playing a bored American retiree who is accompanying his wife to Italy. They are scheduled to meet their daughter's soon-to-be husband, and family. As one can imagine, the interaction between Allen and the non-English speaking Italian family has its moments. The story blossoms when Allen unexpectedly discovers the Italian father can sing like Caruso. But the high point of this operatic mini-drama becomes too forced, testing the audience's patience to say nothing of straining credibility.

In the second story, Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) plays an American student living in Rome along with his girlfriend. When the girlfriend invites "Monica" to pay a visit, played wonderfully by Ellen Page (Juno), Eisenberg becomes infatuated with the new house guest and the fireworks begin. The always reliable Alec Baldwin, perfectly cast as the debonair know-it-all, oddly provides a voice of reason during Eisenberg's degenerative courtship, hoping to stop his protégé from making a complete fool of himself.

The final story seems both camp and patronizing, cookie-cutting arguably the only Italian actor widely recognizable to American audiences (Roberto Benigni -- Life is Beautiful) as the warm roasting chestnut to provide some wildly-exaggerated depiction of the "average" Italian. This story gets old quick, and drags down what would otherwise be at least a mildly entertaining film.

Italy should be perfect canon fodder for Allen's innumerable idiosyncrasies. A nation of wildly-gesturing people full of passion about everything -- art, soccer, food, whatever -- seems the perfect foil for all of Allen's self-centered New Yorkers. Instead, the opportunity is wasted. The film might as well have been shot in Cleveland.

Without giving away too much, there's no payoff in the end. For audiences expecting to see the combustible explosion during the final climactic scene from Allen's vast cinematic laboratory, we are left wondering why any of this mattered.

And that's the trouble – it didn't.

In his masterful 47-year film career, Allen rarely delivers a product that seems so unfinished. It's as though Allen wrote a (somewhat decent) first draft, and then suddenly called in the cameras to start shooting. Allen knows very well that greatness comes through time and repetition.

Like fine wine, this one needed to age a bit. It was served far too early. And like so many bad Chiantis, the tannins were overwhelming to the point of being undrinkable.
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a light trifle for Woody Allen is still amusing, hit-and-miss entertainment
MisterWhiplash2 September 2012
You kinda always know what you'll get with Woody Allen films by this point, which is that for every work that he does that knocks it out of the park (Match Point, Midnight in Paris), he'll come back and then... make a film that just stays as a single or double, to use baseball terms (i.e. Scoop, and this film). To Rome with Love is another "Woody's European City Tour" that follows London, Barcelona and of course Paris, and with Rome he pays tribute by doing one of those Italian anthology comedies (I haven't seen a lot of them frankly, but I'm thinking like back in the 60's with Boccaccio 62), and there are four stories that Woody could also have made individual films. Well, two would have been potentially amazing if they had the right focus (one of them, not so much, the time it has here is fine). Let's quickly rundown:

Woody himself returns for the first time on screen since Scoop (a little too old to be the romantic lead anymore, aside from, say, married to Judy Davis), and he and his wife go to see their daughter, played by Allison Pill, who is set to get married to Michelangelo. His parents are simple Roman folk, the father a mortician... who is also an amazing opera singer, but the catch is that he can only sing great in the shower (don't we all?) so Woody makes a trick: have him sing in the shower - on STAGE! Alec Baldwin plays a guy who, I think, looks back on his younger self as an impressionable architect (Jesse Eisenberg, very Woody-esque surrogate, but plays his own strengths well as well) who has a new romantic interest in the super-neurotic actress Ellen Page plays (a different turn for her that I had fun watching, though intentionally annoying as a character). An Italian couple are in love and are unfortunately separated and, through wacky misunderstandings, wind up with other partners over the course of one day. And Roberto Benigni is a regular guy chased by the paparazzi. Why? Why not?

Woody juggles between these stories and, the worst I can say about it is, it has an air of a sitcom to it. There's some misunderstandings and usually around fame or love or sex, or all of the above, and it's not too deep. Well, maybe the Baldwin/Eisenberg plot has some poignancy about a Man of the World who looks back on his youthful indiscretion, or would-be one, and there is a lot of humor to be mined. Hell, it's great to see Benigni have fun and be actually funny again in his premise, where he starts to go down deeper in the rabbit hole of fame. And while it's the weakest plot of all with the two Italian lovers split apart, when Penelope Cruz comes on screen for her brief time she's sexy, fun, and intelligent in her acting. Even Woody Allen himself, telling a lot of the brand of old, semi-corny jokes (but ALWAYS with a knowing wit and punchline) is amusing.

But when comedy works, it works, and there's a lot of stuff that worked here for me more than it didn't. Just seeing the old Italian man singing in the shower on stage (and applying/washing off Pagliaci make- up!) is a gag that only the most cynical would turn off on. It's a master filmmaker having fun, and a jazz clarinetist (yeah, I'm going there) noodling around on his instrument in a cinematic sort of way. I think for the summer season, which has passed know, it's a fine way to spend an afternoon or evening, not to mention with a wonderful cast by older-and-young Hollywood players and Italian not-so-well-known folks. Just not in an OMG YOU MUST SEE THIS IT WILL WIN AN Oscar sort of experience.
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a wasted opportunity
paolocasonato1 May 2012
"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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I thought it was one of Allen's best
goodone4927 December 2014
Yes, we've all seen Woody Allen films and know from the outset that they contain several intertwined stories that are distinct yet inextricably linked, and this one was no different. However, the distinction here is the element of fantasy that is involved in each of these stories, which has become increasing central to Allen's films of late, e.g., Midnight in Paris, the stories just seem so much more interesting than I seem to recall in some of his other films. Most noteworthy about this film is the score. It is so beautifully and aptly played throughout that it seems to almost be a narrator of the movie, as it gently guides the viewer from scene to scene. The fantastic score also gives the movie an extra element of rhythm both literally and figuratively in that it keeps things quite upbeat. The acting was very well done, with the exception of Ellen Page, which was not really her fault, because she was simply not well cast for her role. Overall, this movie was great! I thought it was one of Allen's best in quite some time.
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Woody is back!
Red-1258 July 2012
To Rome with Love (2012) was written and directed by Woody Allen. In this movie Allen does for Rome what he has already done for New York and Paris--transformed the city into a magical kingdom where anything is possible.

The film doesn't have one plot, it has four. It doesn't have one star, it has about a dozen.

The four plots involve a young small-town Italian couple who arrive in Rome right after their marriage; a retired opera director (Allen) and his wife who come to Rome to join their daughter, who has fallen in love with a young Italian lawyer; a famous architect (Alec Baldwin) who interposes himself into the life of a young U.S. architecture student living in Rome; and an ordinary citizen (Roberto Benigni) who overnight inexplicably finds himself a major celebrity.

Things I learned about Woody Allen from this film: he hasn't lost his touch as a director; he hasn't lost his touch as an actor, as long as he can play Woody Allen; he hasn't lost the ability to write some of the funniest lines you'll ever hear in a movie.

Other things I learned: filling a movie with beautiful women--Ellen Page, Alessandra Mastronardi, Penélope Cruz--is generally a very good idea; Penélope Cruz was born to play an extremely sought-after high-class prostitute.

My wife and I enjoyed this film, and it was clear that other people in the theater liked it as well. Question: why is it rated 6.3 by the IMDb voters? Here's another case--see my review of "First Position"--where I wonder if the voters who gave it a 6 saw the same movie that I saw.

"To Rome with Love" is a funny, intelligent film with great acting and great views of Rome. See it and decide for yourself whether it deserves a 6.3 or a 9.
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A disappointment from Woody Allen
gridoon201826 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The opening sequence of this film filled me with hope....Rome, probably my favorite city in the world, seen through the awestruck eyes of Woody Allen....unfortunately, until the equally magnificent closing scene, he doesn't really make Rome an integral part of his stories....of course there are a few token references to the Collosseum and the Vatican, but also a few too many interior shots. Woody himself, at age 77, is still the funniest performer in the film, AND of course he gives himself most of the best lines as well ("He does it for pleasure, not for money" - "Well, there is a lot of pleasure IN money"!). But while his segment is pretty funny, it's also basically one-joke. The segment with the Italian couple moving to the big city begins well and the couple is appealing, but it goes astray when it turns into a story of double infidelity; this could have been handled either as an all-out farce or as a serious drama, but Allen seems, rather disagreeably, to imply that the whole incident was beneficial to the couple! Nevertheless, this segment includes the three loveliest women in the film, the adorable up-and-coming Alessandra Mastronardi, the getting-hotter-every-year Penelope Cruz, and a cameo by the ageless Ornella Muti! (she should have had a bigger part). The segment with the American couple who find their relationship tested by the arrival of the girl's uninhibited best female friend feels mostly artificial and unconvincing - perhaps because Ellen Page never quite succeeds in looking like a strong enough temptation for Jesse Eisenberg to abandon Gret Gerwig. As for the Roberto Benigni segment, it's pointless, unfunny and repetitive. When I saw "Il Mostro" at the theater in the mid-1990s, the audience was roaring with laughter; during 90% of Benigni's scenes in "To Rome With Love" the audience was dead quiet. Overall, a lightweight disappointment from Woody, though not without moments of pleasure for his fans. ** out of 4.
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Thank you Woody and long life!!!
vintkd11 July 2012
It's the most laughable film that Woody Allen made late years. I love and seen all his works and he is my favorite director exactly. "To Rome with love" is remarkable situation comedy and Woody Allen have always done similar films with peculiar brilliance and charm. I seem I laughed in a theater louder than everybody. Woody Allen as always a great, witty and in his fine creative form. I have been very glad to see his on a screen and his performance with Judy Davis was one of the most funny in that beautiful movie. Almost many thanks to Woody for luxurious cast, particularly for Ornella Muti and Roberto Benigni. For me "To Rome with love" is the best comedy this summer that raised my mood to the cosmic heights. Thank you Woody and long life.
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Huge Disappointment
sap-prayaga13 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What happened to the writer who had taken home the Oscar many times including last year? This is the most boring woody Allen movie I have ever seen. Not only that it is badly written,but also very boring.Usually, woody Allen never disappoints in visuals but this time, they are not what we expect from Allen. Not only the camera jerks but also visually,he did not show Rome as exotic as it is.

I would give four but being an Allen's fan, I am more disappointed and hence giving 3 star.It looked like he wrote the movie in a hurry after the Oscar winner 'Midnight in Paris'. In that movie, Paris was visually excellent and so was UK and new york in his previous films.But this time, Woody failed to show any beauty in Rome.Rome was dull and depressing here.Also the characters were always the plus points in his films.In 'To Rome with love',characters behave the way they are illogically especially the honeymoon couple. Singing under shower on stage is the most annoying scene(s) in woody Allen's career and it is not at all funny.

I was very happy to see woody back to form with 'Midnight in Paris' and he disappointed me with this
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Woody Allen sets his camera on Rome this time weaving together an anthology of stories and interjecting Rome as its own character
chaz-286 July 2012
We have seen Woody Allen's multiple love letters to New York City, London, Barcelona, and Paris; now he sets his satirical eye on the ancient city of Rome. Starting halfway through the previous decade, Woody Allen altered his standard oeuvre from mostly comedic farce with a dash of autobiographical drama set amongst towering New York skyscrapers to films set in major European centers where the city itself is almost its own character. Barcelona nudged its way into the love triangle of Vicky Christina Barcelona and Paris's nightclubs and streets were a central character along with Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein in Midnight in Paris. In To Rome with Love, Woody is even less subtle about his intentions by loudly proclaiming in the film's title what he is up to.

There are multiple stories entering and exiting the stage with even more characters; however, unlike the majority of films which juggle numerous plot lines, these do not intersect; they exist by themselves and involve their own unique Roman characteristics. There is John (Alec Baldwin) who chooses to retrace his former life as a young man in Rome 30 years ago and ends up having a very interesting encounter with Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), Sally (Greta Gerwig), and the flippant Monica (Ellen Page). John has seen it all before and sets himself up as a Greek Chorus variant to the younger crowd. By the end of their section, every man in the audience over 30 should be nodding their heads in agreement about the Sally vs. Monica pros and cons. Their love triangle is a convenient excuse to insert the ancient ruins and architecture which you knew must fit somewhere in the film.

Hayley (Alison Pill) is in her early 20s and fulfills one of the ultimate lost tourist clichés in Rome; she bumps into Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti), falls in love, and decides to spend the rest of her life in Italy. Upon hearing the news, Hayley's parents, Phyllis (Judy Davis) and Jerry (Allen), jet over to Rome to meet this guy and survey the situation. In his typical Woody Allen way, Jerry has a lot to say about the turbulence on the flight over, sizes up Michelangelo as a Communist, and can barely stand the irony that Michelangelo's father, Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato), is an undertaker. Leave it to Woody to be able to fit his absolute phobia of death and all its accompaniments into a film about Rome. This particular film segment uses Roman opera as its backdrop with a very clever farce involving singing in the shower.

The most blatant comedic segment in the film is Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni). He is just a regular working stiff who wakes up at the same time every morning, eats his toast, goes to work, engages in water cooler talk, and comes home. One day, Leopoldo starts getting chased by obsessive paparazzi and screaming autograph seekers wherever he goes who want to know what he likes on his toast, how he shaves, and whether he is a boxers or briefs man. There is no reason for his sudden fame explosion which confuses Leopoldo all the more. This also confused the old ladies sitting next to me; however, this was a brilliant way for Allen to skewer the celebrity fetish. Some people are famous for just being famous even though they have accomplished absolutely nothing.

It seems Woody Allen used his most recent European love letter to fit in some messages he has had stirring around his brain for a little bit. He tackles the odd fascination with know- and do-nothing celebrities, the appeal of going after the vapid and attractive female even though you know she is ridiculous and it will only end badly, and what I suppose is a critique of not being a prude at the beginning of marriage. Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) and Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) have just arrived in Rome after their wedding to start their new life. Through a silly and contrived sequence of events which only serve to set up a ridiculous situation, Antonio winds up with a stunningly gorgeous prostitute, Anna (Penelope Cruz), and Milly winds up tempted by her most favorite actor in the world. This particular part of the film does not work too well but it does provide plenty of laughs as inappropriately clad Anna visits the Vatican.

To Rome with Love is not among the top tier of Woody Allen's decade long infatuation with filming in European locales (Midnight in Paris) but it is certainly not the worst (Scoop). Weaving in and out of these disconnected plot lines is fun and most of them are quite enjoyable. Using Rome and all of its wonderful settings to tie all of his characters together easily helps out what will most likely become one of the more middle of the road and average Wood Allen pictures. However, it is worth noting than an average Woody Allen film is head and shoulders above what is playing down the street in your local multiplex right now.
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some good moments
blanche-228 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I've said it before and I'll say it again - you can't churn out movies the way Woody Allen does and not have a few clinkers along the way. To Rome with Love is not a masterpiece, but it has some good scenes.

Set in beautiful, breathtaking Rome, the film tells four stories: A retired opera director (Allen) visiting his daughter and her new fiancée discovers the boy's father can sing like Caruso; a prostitute (Penelope Cruz) is mistaken for a man's wife by his family; the man's wife is quite naive, ends up on a film studio and is taken to the apartment of one of her favorite actors; a man (Alec Baldwin) returns to the place of his youth and serves as the conscience/adviser to a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) about to fall for his girlfriend's friend (Ellen Page). And a director (Roberto Benigni) becomes an overnight celebrity and is hounded everywhere he goes.

Some of these worked better than others. I'm partial to the opera singer story - Allen and Judy Davis play Jerry and Phyllis, the parents of Hayley (Allison Pitt), and her future father-in-law, Giancarlo, is portrayed by opera star Fabio Armiliato. Giancarlo's voice is magnificent, but only when he's in a shower, so Allen comes out of retirement (which he is dying to do) and stages a Pagliacci with Canio in a portable, decorated shower.

My second favorite is the newlyweds, featuring Alessandro Tiberi as Antonio, Penelope Cruz as Anna, and Alessandra Mastronadi as Milly. This is the most "Italian" part of the film and perhaps the most successful. Milly leaves the hotel, becomes terribly lost, and loses her cell phone. While she's wandering around, Anna (Cruz) enters Antonio and Milly's hotel room, mistaking it for the room she was to go to, and starts trying to kiss Antonio on the bed, just as Antonio's relatives arrive. His uncle mistakes her for Milly, and she goes along with it.

Milly, meanwhile, finds herself at a movie studio and meets her favorite actor, who wants to seduce her. Everyone winds up at the same restaurant together.

I didn't find the acting all that great, particularly in the beginning; it seemed very artificial, though later, I didn't find that as much. I frankly found the Jesse Eisenberg-Ellen Page story a little annoying, as I did the Robert Begnini one. By the way, Penelope Cruz in a tight-fitting, short red dress was drop dead gorgeous.

All in all, worth seeing. I think Allen always has something to offer and even at his age is trying new techniques and new cities.
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To Rome with Love does not make me want to fall in love.
dalydj-918-25517527 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Woody Allen has lost the magic that once made he's a films a delight to watch, Midnight in Paris had it unlike this film"

To Rome with Love revolves around the life of many many people either living or on trip to the city of Rome. They can all be seen by a man who directs where cars go. The American girl (Alison Pill) bringing her parents (Judy Davis and Woody Allen) to Italy so she can marry her Italian boyfriend (Flavio Parenti) and also meet the parents of the boyfriend which includes the father who is turned into an opera singer father and mother . Then there is Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) who becomes a celebrity which seems over night, an Italian man who is mistaken for another when Anna (Penelope Cruz) a prostitute walks in. There is also Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) and Sally (Greta Gerwig) who's relationship is almost ruined by Sally's friend Monica (Ellen Page). The film I believe fails because the script try's to juggle all these story's and in the end I found none of them interesting.

Written and directed by Woody Allen it's sad for me to talk about my hate for this film as I felt every single actor was wasted especially since I like most of these actors. I had high expectations for this film as I felt Allen made a comeback with Midnight in Paris last year but I did learn that it was based on an early story he wrote. So I have to come to the conclusion that he has lost his magic to make interesting films with big casts and none of them being the weak link.

Sure all the actors were good but that's only because they made the most they were given with. Alison Pill was wasted unlike her previous work with Allen, Allen himself was given a lot to do but he is not an actor and needs to give someone else a chance, Davis I almost forgot was in the film is bad because I like her so much. This film gives us a chance to see what happened Benigni after he won the Oscar because he seemed to disappear and in this film he just is a mess showing that sometimes really bad actors can get Oscars. Penelope Cruz when she worked with Allen last won an Oscar but even though she is not as good she is best in the film because she gets to be funny and speak in an accent. Then there is the love story which seemed OK but then how they end it was just off putting with me hating Page in this film.

To sum up my feelings on the film all I have to say was I looked at my watch many times watching the film which is not a good thing when watching a film because it means it's boring. Allen was able to get this company of actors but I feel that he should have cut some plots and maybe it would have followed better then the final product.

MOVIE GRADE: E- (MVP: Penelope Cruz)
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To Woody, with great love from the movie-loving world, bellissimo!
inkblot1110 July 2012
In Rome, there are lots of folks on the verge of great love. There is the young American tourist (Alison Pill) who just happens to get directions to the Trevi fountain from a gorgeous young Italian lawyer. Soon, they are seeing the city and having dinner. But, the idyllic phase may be over when her parents (Judy Davis and Woody Allen) fly in from the States to meet the young man and his family. The lawyer's father, a mortician, sings opera in the shower well but fails to make an impact when he has no soap in his hands. Then, there is a young architectural student (Jesse Eisenberg) who has a live-in girlfriend (Greta Gerwig) he supposedly is much in love with. What a curveball when her longtime, struggling-actress pal (Ellen Page) shows up to turn his attentions in a new direction. An older building designer (Alec Baldwin) is around to give him advice. There is also the gentle clerk (Roberto Benigni) who suddenly captures the world's attention, even to what kind of underwear he sports! And, what about the young married couple, straight from the country, who come to Rome for a new, wealthier life and get tangled up with a call girl (Penelope Cruz) and a philandering actor? What doings and what romance is in the air! Dear Woody, don't be scared, but I am a number one fan, among many in the world. Therefore, every work you create is like adding a new element to the periodic table. This one is fresh, funny, clever, and utterly gorgeous in its photography. The cast, very large, is also terrific! Bravo! For all you film fans everywhere, in Rome, New York, or Peoria, go see it. Immediately, if not sooner.
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Unbelievably bad
treeline124 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Four unrelated vignettes involving tourists, newlyweds, and quirky locals play out in Rome. The characters are neither sympathetic, likable, interesting, nor memorable. The plots are like fantasy daydreams but still manage to be incredibly tiresome. I was so glad when the movie was over.

On the plus side, the photography is exquisite. Rome is filmed in a warm, golden light that makes it look like a fairytale city for lovers. Some very good actors get stuck with trite material and Woody Allen is still playing the same loser character he's been doing for forty years.

Terrible movie.
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The Bloom is Off the Rose
madbeast23 June 2012
"To Rome with Love" comes off as a series of short stories written by a middle school student, lacking any logic and possessing the sexual maturity of a thirteen year old boy. Employing the "bigger is better" approach, Woody Allen takes the device he used in the far more successful "Midnight in Paris" of a nebbish character swept up in an unexplained fantasy and cranks out a series of nonsensical vignettes depicting nebbish characters in unexplained fantasies, replacing the impressive vistas of Paris for the impressive vistas of Rome. There are a few laughs along the way, but Allen spreads himself so thin that he is unable to provide his universe with any depth or reality and tries to get by on the audience's familiarity with his work and the faded idea that whatever he puts on screen represents quality.

The most successful episode features Alec Baldwin as a world-weary architect who makes a sentimental journey to the street he lived on as a student and encounters young Jesse Eisenberg now in residence and living out a romantic entanglement that Baldwin pops in and out of to provide jaded insight. This sequence at least offers some actual emotion for the audience to connect with (largely due to the fine acting of Baldwin, Eisenberg and Ellen Page as a sexy but neurotic actress steeped in Allen's signature pseudo intellectuality) but is so confused about Baldwin's presence that the audience is unclear if he is simply the person he is presented as, if Eisenberg is his younger self who he has come back to mentor, or if it is some bizarre "Twilight Zone" scenario that is never fully resolved. Even when he is in the room with the characters Eisenberg is interacting with, no one makes any reference to Baldwin and no one except Eisenberg can seem to hear what Baldwin is saying (the few times when the other characters do respond to Baldwin only make it more confusing when they don't). Yet this peculiar relationship is never explained and seems a product of Allen's sloppy writing rather than mysterious forces at work.

The rest of the vignettes are just lazy, implausible nonsense whose outrageousness is forced and seems planted there to make up for any genuine wit. The most tiresome sequence is Roberto Begnini as a mundane worker bee who inexplicably wakes up to find himself the most famous man in the world. It's a one-joke premise that goes on for far too long, and since Begnini's boring drone doesn't get any more interesting as a result of what he's experienced, neither does the story. A young couple on their honeymoon are parted just as they are about to meet some people who are important to their future, and the husband implausibly substitutes prostitute Penélope Cruz for his absent wife. The newlyweds end up throwing aside the marriage vows that they just took in an alarming display of Allen's sexual immaturity. And Allen himself makes an appearance as a frustrated opera director who discovers a major talent who can only show off his gifts in the shower, in yet another one-joke misfire.

It is sad that after a long stretch of sub-par work and redeeming himself with some quality films like "Midnight in Paris" and "Match Point" that Allen is content to present a lazy effort like "To Rome with Love" which is so derivative of his "early, funny films" without any of the freshness or inventiveness. If you're looking for something to do this weekend, I recommend popping "Annie Hall" into the DVD player and giving this one a pass.
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Both too much and not enough the same as "Midnight in Paris"
thefilmdiscussion13 September 2012
Woody Allen's latest film, "To Rome With Love", may be a companion piece to his wonderful "Midnight in Paris", having a style and approach similar to the earlier Oscar-winner. Unfortunately, in Rome we're bogged down by four unrelated stories with characters that are charming, but mostly never explored to their full potential. And with many of the scenes taking place indoors, I never found myself being transported to the titular city as I was so completely with "Midnight". I will give props to Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, and Ellen Page for some fine acting and comedic timing, and double-props to Woody for still being able to dead-pan like no other. I hate to compare films, but when your opening title sequence uses the same style and font as the last one you made, can you expect me not to? This one could have been great, but its production value and style suggested it may have been rushed.

-Thomas Bond,
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Woody Allen's Roman Holiday
G_a_l_i_n_a16 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
During Woody Allen's European vacation, he has made four stops in London, visited Barcelona, dropped for a short visit to New York City, spent one summer in Paris, and then he had Roman Holiday last summer. All the tourist attractions of the Eternal City are in full display in Allen's film and they are spectacular: the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, and panoramic views of the city from above, the rain at night, and outdoor cafés. Like in Paris' movie before that, Darius Khondji's camera finds unexpected and hidden angles of famous Rome beauty. The sound of wonderful melodic Italian songs and arias are heard everywhere -and what is Italy or Rome without music? Four different stories in which the Romans and the visitors are involved play against this joyous background of Rome glowing under summer sun. It seems that Allen created a mini Decameron. The stories do not overlap, but they have in common Rome and love in Rome to Rome.

Comparison with last year Allen's film about Paris certainly arises, but as Paris and Rome are two very different cities, even though both are famous, beautiful and often serve as a background or even an important character in the movie ("Fellini's Rome," and "Paris, I Love You", for example), so the Allen's movies about Paris and Rome are quite different. The Roman film, in my opinion, lacks rare magic and brilliance of "Midnight in Paris." The reason seems to be in switching from one story to another, and there are, as I've mentioned, four of them. Each is funny and attractive in its own way, but as the whole they failed to produce magic. As the rule, all stories in an anthology can't be on the same level. The story of Leopoldo, for instance, had intriguing premise but then just lost some of its steam.

Definite plus - for the first time in the last six years, Allen is in front of the camera as well as behind it. Allen knows a secret of physical comedy. He can simply stay in the frame, even in the background and keep silent, and his face will express a range of feelings and emotions, the predominant being a mixture of confusion and dumbfoundedness. Some might say that we've seen it all before but I don't mind. Allen is a good comedian who always makes me smile and laugh. And the same can be said of his Roman film. Allen does not do anything new here but the movie is good. For example, the idea of introducing a singer with the great voice who can only sing in the shower was original and smart. The film is funny, witty, beautiful, bright, and very light, feather-light. Its creator is 76 years but you hardly believe it when he sends us on Roman holiday.

My conclusion - any Allen's movie, even average comparing to his best work, is worth watching. If you are a die-hard fan like me, you've seen it already. I've said many times before and I repeat again - even the average Woody Allen's movie is better than most cookie-cutter comedies released by big studios. If you are not a fan, give "To Rome with Love" a chance, you may fell in love with it. This is the first anthology by Allen for many years and I'm sure you'll like if not four by some of the stories. I am personally delighted by the story of the owner of the funeral home, who sang like Caruso and Pavarotti, but only in the shower, to the sound of pouring water while lathering his back. Or, perhaps, you'll like a surreal story of a simple Roman office employee, who one sunny day out of sudden became insanely famous and popular. Moreover, he could not figure out what actually happened and what exactly he did or did not do? Real celebrities and the crowds of the journalists all listened to his every word as the highest wisdom. Or you may click with the story of Jack, a young American architect -student, his girlfriend, and her best friend - a heart-breaker, of Jack's inner voice played by Alec Baldwin. Well, if you cannot stand Allen, I'll let you in on a secret, if you do not know by now. There is also Penelope Cruz in the role of Anna (I think Woody bowed to Anna Magnani's "Mother Rome" and Sophia Loren - Filomena from "Marriage: Italian Style") and it is impossible to take the eyes off her. Anna - is the character from the fourth story which is about newlyweds who came to Rome for a honeymoon from the small town and the cheerful confusion that occurred when the young bride stepped out of the hotel and got lost in the maze of the Rome's streets. If the presence of Cruz in her second Allen's film is still not enough for you, well, then I do not even know what to say. Only that you should choose for your Roman holiday another Rome, not the one that Woody Allen created.
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Scenery with little plot.
Brendonwbrown27 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I love movies based on ancient European cities, full of history, scenery and culture. When the movie was over, I found that scenery was all I could take away from it. It would seem that the underlying message of the movie is that people are idiots, will make poor decisions, and still everything will be alright in the end. This movie could have been filmed in any city, town or farmstead, but having Rome at its centre, the weak script, characters whose actions do not follow, and lame dialogue are almost forgivable. Did anyone understand why Alec Baldwin continually showed up at the scene of every activity among the college friends? How bored is an older gentlemen that he has to spend days following a group of unimpressive students around, and how is it the students tolerate him? This looked like it could have been a great movie, but was such a let-down.
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Wacky Woody...
aldred6725 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Whilst Woody's character was my favourite, his directing let him down somewhat. Flicking between the four independent little stories every few minutes was enough to drive anyone mad. Had it not been for Penelope Cruz to liven things up I would have left half way through!

Alex Baldwin creeped me out massively as an architect turned sub-conscious: And that's not to mentioning the bizarre story featuring working class Leapoldo or the undertaker turned opera-in-the-shower singer.

Maybe try it in a few months when you'll be able to pick it up for £2 in a supermarket. Until then, I wouldn't waste your time or money I'm afraid.

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Pointless is an understatement
hoochie33337 July 2012
I am a fan of Woodie Allen, even if I didn't always like all his movies (but I have many favorites). Even in movies I didn't enjoy I understood the point - "To Rome with Love" HAS NO POINT. The acting at times is bad, the stories are incoherent and the script surprisingly feels written by a 9 year old child... Something I never expected from a Woodie Allen movie.

I left the theater feeling I had undergone a social experiment by someone who wanted to see, after the success of "Midnight in Paris", if someone would stand up and shout "The king is naked!".

Of the 4 parallel story lines only 1 was somewhat watchable and that's because of Alec Baldwin, and even that storyline started so incoherently that it was hard to enjoy it for the rest of the movie.
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