Tuesday, March 10, 2015

To Rome with Love (2012)

Director: Woody Allen
Writer:    Woody Allen
Cast:       Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Bengini, Greta Gerwig, Judy Davis

The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into. There are four story lines with two of them involving predominantly English speaking cast and another two involving solely Italian speaking characters.

Vicky Christina Barcelona was set in Spain, it is kind of obvious where 'Midnight in Paris' was set in and with 'To Rome With Love' it seemed as if Woody Allen is continuing his European sojourn. 'Midnight In Paris' is his best output from recent times and could very well be put along with his all time best works in a career that has spanned about forty five years as we speak.  Out of the three films listed, his ode to the Eternal City Rome, is definitely the weakest. I found the two English speaking stories to be really good and funny whereas the Italian speaking ones were really boring with Woody Allen going for a slap-stick approach. It was also a bit disconcerting to see Woody Allen play play a bit-part role in an ensemble cast film because his acting style doesn't lend itself well when he is not there in the film throughout. Alec Baldwin's character is used in a fly-in-the-wall fashion with the characters in that story-line talking to him in what can be called a not quite breaking the fourth wall method. This story strand is the most interesting out of the lot with all the pseudo-intellectual talk and excellent performances from Eisenberg and Ellen Page. Getting to be a celebrity or presence of a celebrity is common to all story-lines.

Overall it is decent enough watch without being all that good. Towards the end it kind of drags it out in all the four individual stories and the film overstays its welcome. If you want to watch just a great film from recent times set in Rome, then I would recommend Paolo Sorrentino's 'La Grande Belezza'.

Rating: 2.5/5