to rome with love
by jennifer kiley
Woody Allen’s New Film and he’s in it. I am an avid Woody Allen fan and have been since the first time I viewed his Best Picture Academy Award winning film: “Annie Hall.” La-di-da… You speak lobster don’t you. Favorite scene is the sneeze. For all who have seen Annie Hall know what I mean for those who don’t you should really check it out. It is absolutely delightful. My present favorite Woody Allen film is, of course, “Midnight In Paris.” I’ve watched it many times on DVD, on Demand, or where ever I might come across it. It is such a wonderful fantasy that any writer would practically sell their soul to experience. No spoilers here but I highly recommend this film if only to find out where Owen Wilson’s character disappears to at night. And, can you answer the questions: “Do you get wet? Or, Do you feel the rain?” I am a romantic. Midnight In Paris has romance. Woody Allen must havehad a vision before writing this film. He creates such magic. From watching the Trailers from: “To Rome With Love,” it looks like another great film from Mr. Allen. If he does a film from every great city of Europe, he will have loads of films to wend there way through his imagination.
In 1966 Woody Allen wrote a Broadway show called Don’t Drink the Water. It was about an American Embassy behind the Iron Curtain. It was made into a film but didn’t do well. Woody then wrote a screenplay titled: “Take the Money and Run. It was a bank-robbing comedy. He wrote, directed and starred in it. One of my favorite scenes in this film is at the teller’s window when Woody’s character hands the teller a note. A whole routine was made out of the spelling and pronunciation of the words on the note. “What is this “gub,” “I have a “gub.” The teller calls over another employee to get him to read it. All Woody wants to do is rob the bank but all this attention is being drawn to him. It is a total farce. The film cost about $600,000 to shoot in San Francisco and received excellent reviews. It showed a profit and an entertaining film career began.
To Rome With Love is a wonderfully romantic fantasy of Rome as seen through Woody’s peculiar vision. This is the first film he has acted in since 2006.
Woody interweaves several stories, characteristic of Robert Altman. Woody plays a retired music promoter who journeys to Rome with his wife, Judy Davis, in an attempt to connect with his young daughter, played by Alison Pill. They’re on a romantic journey with a young Italian lawyer. The boyfriend’s father, a funeral director, causes for amusement, has a magnificent tenor voice but he only sings in the shower. Fabio Armiliato, a famous Italian opera singer, plays this role. He opens with the aria from Tosca. It takes your breath away.
Penelope Cruz plays a candid but funny hooker involved accidentally with the wrong man, an inculpable naïf who is at the receiving end of a marvelous lesson in love from her. Simultaneously, his young wife is getting a similar lesson in love from a inane movie actor. Plus there is the scenes where Ellen Page of Juno and Inception moves in with newbie architect Jesse Eisenberg and his girlfriend, played by Greta Gerwig of Greenberg fame.
Alec Baldwin plays his older mentor, who has a fascination with the Ayn Rand book The Fountainhead, a legendary book about an independently minded individual and film, in which Ellen dreams about sleeping with its hero, architect Howard Roark. (Gary Cooper played him in that film.)
Roberto Benigni plays a man who is given ‘Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame’ but doesn’t understand why. He is caught in the trailer being filmed as his faced is covered in shaving cream while an interviewer is speaking while the camera is running.
Woody’s next film will be shot this summer in San Francisco and New York, with his usual all-star cast which includes Cate Blanchette.
Woody’s last film, Midnight in Paris, earned a $57 million gross to date and a nomination for best picture Oscar.
Woody was asked why he had never moved to Los Angeles, and his Woody-esque response was, “I couldn’t live in a city where the only cultural advantage is making a right turn on a red light.” I think he made the right decision. Those earthquakes, mud slides and forest fires would be enough to keep one away. Besides he’s got New York City in his blood.
What a cast for To Rome With Love: Ellen Page, Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis. Here is an amusing tralier for you to enjoy and get a sense of what you have to look forward to when you watch this film.
Antonio Albanese as Luca Salta
Woody Allen as Jerry, Phyllis’ husband and Hayley’s father
Fabio Armiliato as Giancarlo, Michelangelo’s father
Roberto Benigni as Leopoldo, a celebrity
Penélope Cruz as Anna, a prostitute
Alec Baldwin as John, Jack’s acquaintance and adviser
Judy Davis as Phyllis, Jerry’s wife and Hayley’s mother
Jesse Eisenberg as Jack, Sally’s boyfriend
Greta Gerwig as Sally, Monica’s best friend and Jack’s girlfriend
Ellen Page as Monica, Sally’s best friend
Lino Guanciale as Leonardo
Alessandra Mastronardi as Milly, Antonio’s wife
Ornella Muti as Pia Fusari, an actress
Flavio Parenti as Michelangelo, Hayley’s boyfriend
Alison Pill as Hayley, Michelangelo’s girlfriend
Riccardo Scamarcio as Hotel Thief
Alessandro Tiberi as Antonio, Milly’s husband
Marta Zoffoli as Marisa Raguso, an interviewer for Leopoldo