To Rome with Love Review
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In 2011, Woody Allen took a magical trip to France in his Oscar-winning film, Midnight in Paris. Now, Allen’s European adventure continues with a jaunt to Italy, for a fleeting and forgettable comedy about life and love in the Eternal City.

To Rome with Love follows an ensemble cast of characters as they fall in and out of love in Rome. Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) begins to question his relationship with Sally (Greta Gerwig) after her alluring best friend, Monica (Ellen Page), comes for a visit. Italian newlyweds Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) end up separated and seduced by fascinating strangers. Hayley (Alison Pill) and Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti) find their relationship in question when Hayley’s dad, Jerry (Allen), tries to turn Michelangelo’s father (Fabio Armiliato) into an opera star. And regular Roman Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) suddenly becomes a celebrity—for no real reason that he can tell.

Considering the film’s title, you might expect the four random and completely unconnected storylines in To Rome with Love to exude the romance and passion for which Italy and its residents are so well-known. Instead, they’re simple, silly clichés—almost all of which involve some kind of awkward infidelity. And while they’re mildly entertaining, none of them really stand out as particularly memorable—or especially clever. For the most part, they’re merely stories that you’ve heard before, acted out by characters you’ve met before.

Meanwhile, with so many characters coming and going throughout the film, it’s a challenge to keep track of them all—or to care about any of them. Of course, it doesn’t really help that some were poorly cast—like Page, who seems completely out of her element playing the cool and mysterious sexpot (and who has absolutely no chemistry with costar Eisenberg). Even the vibrant city of Rome—which deserves to be a character in its own right—seems to get lost in the shuffle of characters and storylines, becoming just a flat, postcard-like backdrop for encounters that could have happened anywhere else in the world.

Really, Allen himself is the highlight of the film. Though his shtick is always the same, it never seems to get old—and, well, it doesn’t hurt that he gives himself some of the funniest lines in the film. It’s just a shame that his storyline is so completely ludicrous.

Movie lovers who are still basking in the dreamy, romantic glow of Midnight in Paris, then, will get a rude awakening from To Rome with Love. To be fair, it’s not a terrible movie. It does, after all, have its share of amusing moments, thanks to its iconic filmmaker. But this Roman holiday is nothing to write home about.

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