Woody Allen in Rome

To Rome with Love Sony Pictures Classics Rating: PG 112 minutes

This reviewer is a long time fan of Woody Allen movies and his previous film, Midnight in Paris, is already a favourite. Unfortunately, his latest film, To Rome with Love, is not one of his best, although even mediocre Allen is better than most movies today.

Here he does for Rome what he did for Paris, but with four stories instead of one.

Allen plays a retired opera producer in one story. He finds his daughter’s future father-in-law (played by real life opera singer Fabio Armiliato) sings opera beautifully in the shower, not so well when not in the shower. So he produces a classic opera with Armiliato singing onstage in a shower.

The wonderful Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful) plays a boring office clerk who suddenly becomes a celebrity, hates it at first, comes to enjoy it and then misses it when another unknown becomes the celebrity.

In the third story, a just married young couple are split up when she gets lost, but ends up in a hotel with her favourite Italian movie star. Meanwhile, a very sexy Penelope Cruz plays a hooker who shows up in her husband’s hotel room by mistake.

Finally Jesse Eisenberg plays a young architect who falls for his girlfriend’s seductive friend (Ellen Page) despite advice offered by mentor Alec Baldwin.

Some of this whimsey and fantasy works, some doesn’t, but the film is pleasant and amusing to watch. And Rome looks absolutely beautiful.

Rating: four deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.