Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Rome with Love

This latest from Woody Allen isn't bad Woody Allen, but it's not perfect and magical Woody Allen either. But it's pretty darn good.
To Rome with Love introduces us to some visitors and residents of Rome, and how romances and misadventures develop out of this. You might get bored with what's going on in the romance department -- I didn't, but it's certainly possible -- but you could never get bored with the scenes in Rome, bathed in sunlight, in the background.
There are several separate vignettes where the protagonists never meet; the only thing they have in common is Rome. It's interesting to see Robert Benigni again as a common man who is thrown suddenly into the status of being famous. While this was the same story, over and over, with nothing really added each time, Benigni's rubber face keeps it alive for us.
I was particularly intrigued by the story involving Alec Baldwin as an older advisor to Jesse Eisenberg's relationship with his girlfriend. Baldwin adds a slippery force to this story, and while it may be difficult to figure out exactly who he is and what he is adding, the viewer will have to admit that he's a force to be reckoned with.
There's also a very cute story about a simple Italian mortician who has a marvelous voice, but can only sing in the shower. We actually get to see Woody himself in a part written, of course, just for him. It's wonderful to see the great Judy Davis hitting all the right strides as Woody's character's wife. Because who else could put up with the intellectual neurotic?
Well, they're all intellectual neurotics -- maybe not all, but many of the figures we see in each vignette. It's certainly territory Allen knows well.
All of these stories are quite humorous, sometimes even laugh-out-loud quality. It's a good film even though it doesn't carry the magic of his last, Midnight in Paris.
Thumb's up.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Dawn Kepler said...

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At 1:43 PM, Blogger Dawn Kepler said...

I agree with you! The scenes of Rome were breathtaking. The storylines – meh. I didn’t give a fig about the young lovers. They were all annoying & just a vehicle for the Alex Baldwin character, whom I loved. I also loved the opera singer; I like to think I sing that well… in the shower. Robert Benigni’s scenario was wonderfully weird.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Dawn Kepler said...

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