To Rome With Love (R) 112 minutes B-
Postcards From the Edge
Starring Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis, Ornella Muti, Alison Pill, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig and Woody Allen
Last year's Midnight in Paris may have excited Woody Allen fans, and brought new ones into the fold. But with To Rome with Love, Allen is back to his old tricks. This is one will be easily forgotten a few years from now, yet it does have a certain charm and light-hearted appeal that makes it a wonderful summer excursion.
The film follows four stories with Rome acting as the centerpiece. The best of the bunch involves Sally (Gerwig), Jack (Eisenberg), Monica (Page) and John (Baldwin), in a familiar tale of "the heart wants what the heart wants," or so we think. Sally and Jack have a solid relationship until Sally's friend Monica comes to Rome for a visit. Monica is irresistible to Jack, while John tries to be the voice of reason.
The other three stories include a sexy Penélope Cruz as a hooker. Roberto Benigni famous for being famous, and Woody Allen, as Jerry, a retired opera director who discovers the the next big opera sensation. Without giving too much else away, let's just say that ridiculous fun ensues. To Rome with Love is a nicer film than some of his lesser appreciated current films- You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Whatever Works, and Melinda and Melinda, but it also lacks the edger moments of said films. In his latest, I miss that little twinge of darkness lurking under the surface.