"Cheating in the Eternal City"
TO ROME WITH LOVE is Woody Allen’s latest comedy. It’s about a variety of characters, some Italians and some Americans who get involved in various romances, adventures and predicaments. The situations are portrayed in a light, farcical manner, but there are too many characters, too many situations, and too many illicit affairs.
The story follows four sets of people visiting or living in Rome who get caught up in romantic and professional misadventures.
Among the lead characters are a newlywed couple, Antonio and Milly, who get lost from each other just as Antonio’s relatives are coming to visit for the first time. Mistakenly, a prostitute is sent to Antonio’s room. The woman winds up pretending she’s Antonio’s wife for his confused relatives. Eventually, they wind up having a sexual rendezvous off camera. Meanwhile, Milly is nearly seduced by a movie star on a movie set, bit winds up having a fling with the man who robs him.
At the same time, a young American architect, Jack, living with his long-time girlfriend unsuccessfully tries to fight off a seductive friend of hers. Meanwhile, he also befriends his favorite architect hero, played by Alec Baldwin.
In the third story, Jerry, an American atheist played by Woody Allen, meets the father of his daughter’s Italian bridegroom. Jerry gets involved with the future father-in-law’s dreams of being a singer.
Finally, Leopoldo, an Italian man played by Roberto Benigni, finds sudden fame. The instant fame goes to his head. He cheats on his wife and family, then has to run from the paparazzi.
There are a few clean, well-deserved laughs in TO ROME WITH LOVE. The funniest situation, perhaps, is the story involving the Italian father-in-law trying to find a way to become a professional singer. The problem is, he sings best only when he’s in the shower. In this story, Woody Allen pokes light fun at his atheism in one scene. He also makes fun of the communist attitudes of his future son-in-law.
However, there are too many characters in TO ROME WITH LOVE. Also, the movie seems to celebrate extra-marital affairs and infidelity to one’s girlfriend, though in a comical way. In fact, most of the movie’s relationships lead to an affair. TO ROME WITH LOVE also contains some crude language, but half of the movie is in Italian with subtitles. This seems to cut down on that. That said, media-wise viewers probably will want to avoid TO ROME WITH LOVE, unlike Allen’s previous movie, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.
(RoRoRo, AC, H, C, Ho, LL, SS, N, A, MM) Very strong Romantic worldview pursuing extramarital affairs in three of four ensemble stories and pursuing personal expression and dreams, with one scene where future father-in-law mocks future son-in-law’s communism, Woody Allen’s character admits he’s an atheist but also admits in a comedic tone that his lack of belief in God leaves him feeling fearful and hopeless at nearly all times, one man is a mortician and has Christian and Catholic Christian statues and crosses around his place of business and a movie star being chased by paparazzi nearly runs into a Catholic procession but manages to stop and demand respect for the priests and their followers, plus some references to lesbian homosexuality; 21 obscenities and profanities, including one “f” word; light comic violence such as man has to run from paparrazi chasing him; strong sexual immorality (but implied) includes implied adulterous sex, crude sexual discussion in one scene mentions lesbian behavior and other sexual experiences, married man lies in bed with two women, young man lives with his girlfriend and is successfully seduced by her best friend, actor tries to seduce married woman but a robber interrupts them and successfully seduces her instead, and prostitute is sent to wrong room and eventually has a rendezvous with the married man there; upper male nudity; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, manipulative woman but she’s implicitly rebuked, lying, cheating, robbery in one scene.
TO ROME WITH LOVE is Woody Allen’s latest comedy. It follows four sets of people in Rome. A newlywed couple, Antonio and Milly, get separated just as his relatives come to visit. Mistakenly, a prostitute is sent to his room. The woman winds up pretending she’s Antonio’s wife for his confused relatives. At the same time, a young American architect, living with his long-time girlfriend, tries to fight off her seductive friend. In the third story, an American atheist meets the father of his daughter’s Italian bridegroom. He gets involved with the future father-in-law’s dreams of being a singer. Finally, an Italian man finds sudden fame. This goes to his head. He cheats on his wife, then has to run from paparazzi.
There are a few clean, well-deserved laughs in TO ROME WITH LOVE. However, it has too many characters. Worse, almost all of the male-female relationships result in affairs. TO ROME WITH LOVE also contains some crude language, but half of it is in Italian with subtitles. This seems to cut down on that. That said, media-wise viewers probably will want to avoid TO ROME WITH LOVE.