Tuesday, July 24, 2012

To Rome With Love: Late Movie Review

To Rome With Love

Cast: Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin

Writer and Director: Woody Allen

* and a 1/2's out of four.

If someone were to offer me a beer, I would gladly accept it and, most likely, be their best friend. Now, I may not like all the different brands and flavors this friend is offering me, but I do like beer and will continue to drink it.  This is essentially how I feel about Woody Allen movies.  Some of them are really, really good and I want to drink the whole keg, while others... I can barely get through a small glass.  Still, if someone were to offer me a glass of the Wood-man's brew, I would gladly accept.  I just wish his newest sample had a little bit more flavor.

"To Rome With Love" has a plot that I need to breakdown, because there are four separate stories that go on at the same time.

1.  Jesse Eisenberg plays a man who becomes interested in his girlfriend's (Greta Gerwig) best friend (Ellen Page). Oh, and Alec Baldwin randomly appears to give the young man some advice.  At first I thought that only the Eisenberg character could see him, but others react to him as well.  He just shows up in the oddest places.  There was never a spark of any kind of attraction between either Gerwig or Page to Eisenberg's character, so for the most part I was bored by this story.

2.  Alessandro Tiberi and Alessandra Mastronardi play a married couple on their honeymoon.  While the wife is away trying to find a salon, the husband accidentally gets visited by a prostitute (Penelope Cruz).  Now he has to pretend that the two are married, because his parents walked in on them.  Meanwhile, the wife is having adventures of her own and ends up getting seduced by one of her favorite movie actors.  Both couples end up cheating on each other, but the husband really should not feel threatened because he got to have sex with Penelope Cruz.  Alessandra's character was going to have sex with a fat bald man, but ended up fucking a hotel thief who had earlier held her at gun point.  Don't get any ideas men, this is only a movie and I'm pretty sure holding a gun at someone is not a good icebreaker for getting a date.

3.  The life of Roberto Benigini's character in this next story is amusing for about ten minutes (at most), but then becomes really bad.  He plays a mild mannered man who becomes a celebrity for no reason.  At first he is highly upset at all the attention he is getting, but that stops once beautiful women want to have sex with him. In this age of reality T.V., it's very easy for a nobody to become a real somebody and I got the point Mr. Allen was trying to make.  It was a point that shouldn't have taken so long.

4.  The last story (in my opinion the best one) involves Woody Allen and Judy Davis coming to Rome to visit their daughter (played by Allison Pill).  She has just gotten engaged and her fiance's father can sing very well, but only in the shower.  Woody's character sees an opportunity to turn this guy into a world-celebrated singer, with very funny results.  It is the most absurd story, but also one of the best.  If you removed all of the other stories and just kept this one at the same length, it would have been a nice short film.

It is very impressive that Woody Allen has directed a movie a year for over forty years.  To this day, he has directed over 45 films, making him one of the most prolific directors in the history of movies.  His movies have become their own genre, just like Westerns and Dramas.  Although I wasn't too impressed by this flick, I will gladly sit through another one of his pictures.