Average Allen: Only fleeting love in Woody's latest
Woody Allen's new film To Rome With Love generates no particular excitement or surprise, but it provides the sort of pleasure he seems able to generate almost on demand. The New Yorker who claims to be uneasy after a night away from home, here sets his fourth recent film in a European capital, treating Rome like a besotted tourist. He tells four stories that are intercut but not interlocking, and three of them are funny and charming.
Much of their appeal comes from the casting, made possible by Allen's apparent ability to persuade any actor to come and work with him for a week or two. Using a star saves a director from writing 10 pages of screenplay, I've heard, because we think we already know a lot about the character. That helps in the way Allen skips lightly among his stories, which have the depth of sitcoms.
The best of the stories in To Rome With Love involves Allen himself, as Jerry, a self-doubting opera director visiting Rome with his wife (Judy Davis, in her fifth film with Woody). They're in Rome to meet the fiance their daughter (Alison Pill) plans to marry. He is not particularly pleased with Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti), and seems to make a point of mispronouncing his name. But when he overhears the young man's father (Fabio Armiliato) singing in the shower, he knows a great tenor voice when he hears one. Full ReviewRead more on: to rome with love