EW Movie Review: "To Rome With Love"
Updated: 06/22/2012 05:30 AM
By: Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Woody Allen's latest film, "To Rome With Love", opens in theaters this week. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly magazine filed the following review.
Woody Allen has entered a phase in which he seems less movie director than travel agent. In films like "Vicki Cristina Barcelona", "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger", "Midnight in Paris", and his latest picture-postcard comedy, "To Rome With Love", Allen serves up scenic European vistas, new versions of old jokes, and little fables that have all the depth of designer candies.
"To Rome With Love" turns out to be four confectionary fables in one. Roberto Benigni winningly plays a humdrum citizen of Rome who discovers that he has inexplicably become Italy’s reigning reality TV star. Suddenly, he’s a schmo whose every daily banality is treated with God-like reverence.
A retired opera director, played by Allen, arrives in Rome to meet his daughter’s future in-laws. He learns that the father-in-law-to-be has a voice like Caruso -- but only in the shower. So he arranges for the man to become an opera star by singing on stage in a working shower stall: A joke that’s sort of funny, the first time you see it. Did I mention that there’s also a character, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who stammers nervously, is an intellectual, and is hopelessly drawn to his girlfriend’s free-spirited actress chum? She’s this year’s model of the Woody Allen crazy-sexy-neurotic temptress, only in this case she’s played by the birdlike, far-from-smoldering Ellen Page, a piece of casting that feels about as convincing as the entire episode.
It may sound like I disliked "To Rome With Love", but the truth is that Woody Allen has become such a beguiling travel agent that he rolls through these stories with a relaxed effervescence that is rather infectious. You don’t, after all, have to accomplish anything to enjoy a vacation.
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