While it’s not in a class of a film like “Midnight in Paris,” “To Rome With Love” is an entertaining movie written and directed by Woody Allen. It’s has mildly complicated and interwoven stories, with love and life as the common denominators.
The first is about a young Italian couple from a small town outside Rome who are engaged and coming to Rome to cement a corporate position for the young man, only to find themselves involved in separate love challenges involving a hooker (Penelope Cruz) and a famous Italian movie star.
Academy Award winner (“Life Is Beautiful” ) Roberto Benigni is a middle-class clerk who all of a sudden becomes an instant celebrity, but he’s not sure why.
Woody Allen plays a recently retired opera impresario who has come to Rome with his wife to meet their daughter’s fiance and his family, only to discover that the fiance’s father can sing like Caruso if he’s in the shower, which gives Allen’s character a new, strange direction on his career.
Jesse Eisenberg plays an architectural student studying in Rome who gets involved with his live-in girl friend’s best chum, played by Ellen Page, who comes to Rome to get over a failed relationship. Alec Baldwin does his “30 Rock” routine as a kind of advisor to Eisenberg on his many options.
“To Rome With Love” seems like a movie that had several possible plots Allen couldn’t decide on, so he included them all, which waters-down the entire film. Still, it’s a picturesque tale of people, with amour as the common denominator and some very basic lessons on what not to do.