Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love

Woody Allen has some greats, but this is not one of them. Unfortunately, with this talented cast of characters including Roberto Benini, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Paige, Jesse Eisenberg, Judy Davis, and Woody Allen – was not enough to make a good movie.  There were four different story lines – all of them loosely connected – but none of them related to each other in any worthwhile way.  In fact, the only story line remotely interesting was the Baldwin/Eisenberg/Paige story.  The others served as non sequitur tangents that filled the time and space with some trivial, less-than-interesting stories.  Each one started with curious promise, but were ultimately failures.


Allen successfully told the Baldwin/Eisenberg/Paige story in an inventive, exciting way. I would have like to have seen more of Baldwin act as a seen/unseen moral compass. Somehow, Allen seamlessly placed an entire walking and talking, yet imaginary, Alec Baldwin into the lives of these young Americans living in Rome. Loved it.

Another well-done feat was placing all the stories in different time lines.  One story, involving a newly married couple starting out in Rome, had a story that ran the course of a day.  At the same time, it parallels another story, the young Americans living in Rome, that covers several weeks. The transition from story to story, despite the time leaps, was flawless.

Those were refreshing techniques in story-telling, but the actual stories themselves lacked substance. Overall, the movie was barely charming, easy enough to watch, but pretty forgetful. Not that funny either. Allen uses quite a bit of slap-stick humor that I can’t say was successful. Given the number of movies that Allen churns out, they can’t all work. This one does not. I do not recommend you spend any money watching it in the theaters… $5

If you heart To Rome With Love

Recommendations from Yolkie:
Happenstance

Melinda and Melinda
Paris, Je T’aime

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