To Rome With Love 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,… To Rome With Love 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
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 Sep 1 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Walt Disney Pictures
$22.2 5 $280.5 A-
2. $15.7 4 $166.4 C+
3.
If I Stay
Warner Bros.
$11.6 2 $32.2 C-
4. $10.5 3 $59.7 F
5.
As Above, So Below
Universal
$10.3 1 $10.3 C
6.
The November Man
Relativity
$10.2 1 $11.9 C
7. $8.0 2 $18.7 NA
8.
The Giver
Weinstein Co.
$6.9 3 $33.1 C-
9.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Walt Disney Pictures
$6.3 4 $41.1 B
10.
The Expendables 3
Lionsgate
$4.5 3 $34.2 B
* in millions