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To Rome With Love (2012) Woody Allen has entered a phase in which he seems less movie director than travel agent, dispensing scenic Euro vistas, new versions of old jokes,… 2012-06-22 R PT112M Comedy Woody Allen Alec Baldwin Penelope Cruz Jesse Eisenberg Ellen Page Sony Pictures Classics
Movie Review

To Rome With Love (2012)

MPAA Rating: R

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CIAO BELLO Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg star in Woody Allen's To Rome With Love
Image credit: Philippe Antonello/Sony Pictures Classics
CIAO BELLO Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg star in Woody Allen's To Rome With Love
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Jun 22, 2012; Rated: R; Length: 112 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Woody Allen has entered a phase in which he seems less movie director than travel agent, dispensing scenic Euro vistas, new versions of old jokes, and his own version of storybook swag — ''fables'' with all the depth of designer bonbons. In his latest picture-postcard comedy, To Rome With Love (four independent confectionary fables in one), Roberto Benigni winningly plays a humdrum citizen of Rome who discovers that he has inexplicably become Italy's reigning reality TV star. Suddenly he's a schmo whose every daily banality is treated with godlike awe. A retired opera director, played by Allen, arrives in Rome to meet his daughter's future in-laws. He learns that the father-in-law-to-be (Fabio Armiliato) has a voice like Caruso's — but only in the shower. So he arranges for the man to become an opera star by singing on stage in a working shower stall, a joke that's sort of funny...at least the first time you see it.

Did I mention that there's a character, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who nervously stammers, is an intellectual, and is hopelessly drawn to his girlfriend's visiting free-spirited actress chum? She's this year's model of the Woody Allen crazy-sexy-neurotic temptress, only in this case she's played by the birdlike Ellen Page, casting that feels about as convincing as the entire episode. (A plus: The name Kierkegaard is never uttered!) I may sound like I disliked To Rome With Love, but the truth is that Woody Allen has become such a beguiling travel agent that he rolls through these stories with a relaxed effervescence that is rather infectious. You don't, after all, have to accomplish anything to enjoy a vacation. B-

Originally posted Jun 20, 2012 Published in issue #1213 Jun 29, 2012 Order article reprints
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Weekend of Apr 13 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1. $41.4 2 $159.0 B+
2.
Rio 2
Fox
$39.0 1 $39.0 NA
3.
Oculus
Relativity
$12.0 1 $12.0 NA
4.
Draft Day
Lionsgate/Summit
$9.7 1 $9.7 B
5.
Divergent
Lionsgate/Summit
$7.5 4 $124.9 B+
6.
Noah
Paramount
$7.4 3 $84.9 C+
7.
God's Not Dead
Freestyle
$5.5 4 $40.7 NA
8.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
$4.0 6 $39.5 A-
9.
Muppets Most Wanted
Walt Disney Pictures
$2.2 4 $45.7 B
10. $1.8 6 $105.2 B
* in millions