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 Jan 25 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1.
American Sniper
Warner Bros.
$64.4 5 $200.1 C+
2.
The Boy Next Door
Universal
$15.0 1 $15.0 C+
3.
Paddington
Weinstein Co.
$12.4 2 $40.1 A-
4.
The Wedding Ringer
Screen Gems
$11.6 2 $39.7 D
5.
Taken 3
Fox
$7.6 3 $76.1 B-
6.
The Imitation Game
Weinstein Co.
$7.1 9 $60.6 B+
7.
Strange Magic
Touchstone
$5.5 1 $5.5 NA
8.
Selma
Paramount
$5.5 5 $39.2 A
9.
Mortdecai
Lionsgate
$4.1 1 $4.1 C-
10.
Into the Woods
Walt Disney Pictures
$3.9 5 $121.5 B-
* in millions

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