2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Woody phones it in.,
"To Rome with Love" is Woody Allen's latest stop on the European tour that he began with "Everyone Says I Love You" and continued through "Match Point," "Scoop," "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "Midnight in Paris." Unfortunately, "To Rome with Love" is the least interesting of the group, although it's wonderful to see Woody on screen again after a hiatus of several years. (Of course Woody kept up his usual breakneck filming schedule, but stayed behind the camera for his last several films.)
"To Rome with Love" is a sampler of four short films intertwined with each other but never interconnecting. The most ambitious segment features Jesse Eisenberg as a young architecture student, receiving advice from an older architect (Alec Baldwin) about his relationships with his girlfriend (Greta Gerwig) and his girlfriend's BFF (Ellen Page). It is obvious long before the end that Baldwin's character is Eisenberg a quarter-century or so down the line. Baldwin's sly, subtle comic performance is the best thing in the movie, but unfortunately Ellen Page--otherwise a very gifted actress--is miscast in a role that screamed for Scarlett Johansson.
In other segments, Roberto Benigni plays an ordinary clerk who inexplicably becmes the toast of Italian TV; Penelope Cruz plays a sexy hooker who creates unexpected complications in the life of a young man trying to secure a job with his super-rich, super-conservative relatives; and Woody plays an opera director who discovers that his daughter's future father-in-law is one of the greatest tenors who ever lived--but only in the shower.
The film is pleasant, with Woody and Benigni providing some solid laughs. But none of the segments really lingers in the memory. In "Midnight in Paris," Woody obviously felt a overwhelming emotional connection with Paris that elevated the movie; in "To Rome with Love," he's a tourist. You won't regret seeing "To Rome with Love," but you won't remember it for very long, either.