¨If something is too good to be true, you can bet it’s not.¨
Woody Allen has been directing at least one movie every single year for the past thirty years. It was Rome`s turn for 2012 and although it isn’t as good as his previous film, Midnight in Paris, which won Allen his fourth Oscar for original screenplay, this was still a well written comedy. I laughed really hard at several scenes and enjoyed the film from start to finish. The only problem I had with the film was that the editing was a little choppy in some scenes and the soundtrack was a little annoying, but beside that the film worked really well thanks to some great performances and a great script. It was good to see Woody Allen acting again after six years (the last time was in Scoop) and he is always a charm on camera. I think I`m enjoying Wordy Allen`s films a lot more now than I did his older ones, although it probably has to do because I understand him better now. In To Rome with Love he once again seems to blab about the usual topics such as love, infidelity, fame, success, and death in a very funny and original way. I am a huge Ellen Paige fan, so I was excited to see her on a Woody Allen film and she was just great in the few scenes she shared with Jesse Eisenberg. She never disappoints. I had some high expectations for this film and it never disappointed me. Woody Allen seems to have found a pretty nice groove in Europe and has written yet another very funny comedy. Most fans will be satisfied.
The film takes place in Rome where we have several different romantic stories taking place. These stories aren`t interconnected with each other (other than the fact that they all take place in Rome) and probably aren't in the same time frame either. First we are introduced to Hayley (Alison Pill), an American tourist who is asking for directions to a local she runs into named Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti). He gladly takes her to the spot she´s looking for and romance blossoms between them. Then we are introduced to Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni), a married man who´s routine life changes all of a sudden when he becomes an instant celebrity (for no apparent reason). John (Alec Baldwin) is a successful architect who is visiting Rome, the city he lived in when he was a student. He runs into Jack (played by Jessie Eisenberg) who takes him to the very same place where he used to live when he was young. We soon discover that John really is reliving his past through Jack. Jack is living with his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) and her best friend Monica (Ellen Paige) is going to be staying with them for a couple of days. Jack can`t help but fall in love with Monica. Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) are a recently married couple from the south of Italy who have arrived in Rome for a job proposal. Milly gets lost in the big city and Antonio has a mistaken encounter with a prostitute named Anna (Penelope Cruz) that will lead to a huge mix up. Woody Allen also has a role in this film as Hayley`s father who comes to meet Michelangelo`s family.
Each one of the stories work really well in my opinion although I did laugh a little harder with Roberto Benigni`s scenes which remind us all of the perks of being a celebrity, as well as the disadvantages (the overly exaggerated media attention). Woody Allen was also great as the frustrated Opera director who can`t seem to enjoy the idea of retirement and associates it more with dying. I think that is his personal philosophy and thus the reason why he continues to make films at such a fast pace. He refuses to retire from directing. The mix up between Penelope Cruz and Alessandro Tiberi also makes for some funny scenes, but my favorite story had to do with the love triangle between Jessie Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, and Ellen Paige. There were so many different things going on in this film, but somehow Allen managed to make the film work in such a way that every character was made interesting. I`m usually not a fan of these multiple stories in one film, but here it works really well and the surprising thing is that the stories weren’t even interconnected with each other. But it works because Rome becomes the central theme of the film. I really had a fun time with this movie and would recommend it.