I love Woody Allen.
I love Ellen Page
I … well, I can’t really say I love Rome, for I’ve never been to that city, but you get the idea.
So today’s review is about Allen’s newest movie, “To Rome with Love”, an episodic movie in the everlasting city of love: Paris. No, just kidding you, it’s actually Rome. Allen gets once again a star ensemble together and tells us four different stories about the city.
There is the young married couple, who get departed, and while the husband has to describe a hooker (Penelope Cruz) as his bride, in order to beguile his relatives, his wife meets an Italian star actor (which will later lead to one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen).
Then there’s the young architect (Jesse Eisenberg), who desperately and unsuccessfully tries not to fall for his girlfriend’s hot best friend (Ellen Page), while getting advices by the “ghost” of Alec Baldwin. The big revelation scene of these two/ three could argubly be written by Shakespeare, it’s very energic and rhythmic, and ends with one of the best lines Ellen Page has ever said (and could say anytime to me) And to be fair, I think anyone would fall for her, unregarding their relationship stati.
The third episode is about Roberto Benigni, playing Roberto Benigni, an average Roman citizen, who gets to sudden fame and learns the falseness and glassiness of media the hard way. Not much to say more about that.
The last episode features Woody Allen in his first appearence since Scoop. He plays the elderly father of Alison Pill (which you may know from Scott Pilgrim vs the world, and boy has she become gorgeous!), who travels to Rome together with his wife to meet his future son-in-law’s parents, and discovers that the father is a great tenor… when he sings in the shower…
Allen is one of the many comedic highlights of the movie. He is still full of energy, even though he has been playing the same type of character for over 40 years. The rest of the cast is also really good, and each episode is highly entertaining. I was laughing very hard while watching it, but the more time was passing by after the movie, the more clearly I saw the film’s big flaw: It has no explizit story! All the episodes are unconnectet to each other, and are standing solely. Also, each episode differs that much from the previous/ next, that you can’t tell what’s this movie about. If you say “Love“, like most of the other Woody Allen movies are about, you are mistaken, for only two of the four episodes are about that topic. For me, it has no substance.
Allen has made some episode-movies in his past, most famously being “What you always wanted to know about Sex but never dared to ask”, but that movie has had an overtheme. With “To Rome with Love” there is nothing that links each story but the location: Rome.
Even though “To Rome with Love” may not be a bad movie, it is surely one of his weaker ones, and to date the weakest Woody Allen movie I have seen (and shockingly the first Woody Allen movie I’ve seen in the cinema). Despite Ellen Page. But it has got great entertaining value, and some really great scenes.