Whenever there’s a new Woody Allen Film out, I am in the same trouble. On one hand every critic seems to rage about the New York neurotic and all my friends want to see the film immediately, but on the other hand I’m not really on one page with Woody when it comes to humor and have also been tought from very early on that Woody Allen is no good by my dad.
Now that To Rome with Love is out, I’m thus back in a familiar disaster. But after even ttt has an entire report about it, I went ahead and trotted to the cinema with my flatmates in order to give old Woody one more chance.
And I must say: It was actually worth it!
Although Woody Allen plays that same part he always plays and does get on my nerves a bit, the rest of the film is quite fantastic.
First of all there is Penélope Cruz playing the prostitute Anna, who mixes up the hotel rooms and is thus forced to play prudish Antonio’s wife for one day. Of course it is the day, when he is meant to be introduced to the business elite of the Italian capital. It’s nothing new that double standards are especially common among the High Society, but Allen proceeds to this point at such slow pace, i’s almost surprising when the viewer realizes it.
Another main character in this anthology film is Alec Baldwin, who meets himself 30 years ago (Jesse Eisenberg) and watches the young student give up a safe and great love (Greta Gerwick) to chase after a ghost (Ellen Page). Then there’s also Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) who is suddently famous one day, without any good reason. First cursing the paparazzi and attention he soon won’t live without it anymore. It’s a great critique of the media in general and television in particular.
But Allen doesn’t stop there, he’s not afraid to also attack the High Culture, in this case Opera. Although Giancarlo can really only sing in the shower, for a true genius in directing this obstacle can certainly be overcome.
Overall To Rome with Love is no masterpiece and more slapstick than intelligent jokes, I must admit I left the cinema with a smile on my face and feeling rather buoyant. The 112 minutes passed really quickly and although the jokes do tend to double in Allen’s films I did find this one rather clever and charming.