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DVD Review: To Rome With Love

January 15, 2013

To Rome With Love DVD CoverTo Rome With Love – A Sony Pictures Classic’ Release

http://sonyclassics.com/toromewithlove/

DVD Release Date: January 15th, 2013

Rated PG for sexual content and language

Running time: 112 minutes

Woody Allen (dir.)

Woody Allen (writer)

Woody Allen as Jerry

Alec Baldwin as John

Roberto Benigni as Leopoldo

Penélope Cruz as Anna

Judy Davis as Phyllis

Jesse Eisenberg as Jack

Greta Gerwig as Sally

Ellen Page as Monica

Alison Pill as Hayley

Flavio Parenti as Michelangelo

Alessandro Tiberi as Antonio

Alessandra Mastronardi as Milly

Our reviews below:

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To Rome With Love DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Woody Allen sets his sights on Italy in To Rome With Love, a series of different stories.  The film opens with Hayley (Alison Pill), a New York tourist who falls in love with Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti), prompting her mother (Judy Davis) and father (Woody Allen) to come for a visit.  Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) are Italian newlyweds moving to Rome, but encounters with a hooker (Penélope Cruz) and an actor (Antonio Albanese) threaten to tear them apart.  Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) is an American architect living in Rome with his girlfriend (Greta Gerwig) who starts falling for her best friend (Ellen Page), with the wise John (Alec Baldwin) acting like a living conscience.

And last but certainly not least is the amusing story of Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni), an average man who suddenly becomes a celebrity, providing some of the funniest moments.  The cast all seems to be having a lot of fun with the material, even at times when the characters stretch believability, and the film provides plenty of agreeably light entertainment from beginning to end.  Although not in the same high league as his outstanding Midnight in Paris, To Rome With Love is still an enjoyable travelogue that is worth seeing for fans of Woody Allen.

The DVD includes a short “making of” featurette titled Con Amore: A Passion for Rome.

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To Rome With Love DVD Review By Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

To Rome With Love opens with a traffic cop in Rome introducing the city to us, and its vibrant tourists and lovers alike.  Then the film introduces us to several couples and families, each on their own path of love and life.  From young couples both Italian and American meeting each other’s families for the first time, to those struggling with temptation, to an Italian family who suddenly find fame for seemingly no reason, the film follows the challenges of love in a city that seems to inspire so much passion in many.

The film is mostly in English, with two of the storylines in Italian (with subtitles), and one in both.  Overall, the film works very well as a multi-storylined piece, so long as you can accept the almost screwball elements at times.  All in all, Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love is a quirky and funny comedy that is worth checking out now that it’s on DVD.  While not Allen’s best work, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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To Rome With Love DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

To Rome With Love tells a series of stories taking place in the Eternal City.  A retired music agent, Jerry (Woody Allen) and his wife Phyllis (Judy Davis), are visiting Rome to meet their daughter Hayley’s (Alison Pill) fiancé Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti).  It turns out that Michelangelo’s father Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato), who is an undertaker, has an amazing operatic voice.  Trouble is, he will only sing in the shower.  This is the opportunity for Jerry to come up with an ingenious, yet unconventional solution.

A man, Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) is preparing to introduce his relatives to his new wife, Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi).  Trouble is, a previous anonymous bet gets Antonio in the same room as a call girl, Anna (Penélope Cruz).  Antonio’s relatives walk in, so he must pretend Anna is Milly.  Meanwhile, the real Milly ends up with her favourite movie star Luca Salta (Antonio Albanese), who is only interested in her body.  An encounter with a robber has an unexpected twist.

A young Italian-American architect, Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) has moved to Rome with his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig).  But a love triangle ensues when her best friend Monica (Ellen Page) comes over to stay for a while.  Jack is drawn to her, despite warnings from his friend and conscience, John Foy (Alec Baldwin).  An ordinary middle aged man, Leopoldo Pisanello (Roberto Benigi) finds himself famous overnight for no reason other than “being famous.”  Now the paparazzi and the gossip news anchors won’t leave him alone.

To Rome With Love is a quirky diversion.  It is funny, well acted, and has lovely visuals of Rome.  This is a light movie that is worth checking out.

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To Rome With Love DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Woody Allen takes another trip to Europe as a backdrop for his quirky romantic comedy, To Rome With Love.  In 2011, France was the star in Midnight in Paris.  In 2012 Italy is showcased via the romantic city of Rome.

To Rome With Love is a pleasant enough trip seen though the stories of four unrelated groups of tourists and locals.  First there’s Hayley (Alison Pill), a young American tourist who falls in love with an Italian lawyer named Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti).  Hayley’s parents, Jerry (Woody Allen) a retired music promoter and Phyllis (Judy Davis) a psychologist, take a turbulent plane ride to Rome to meet Michelangelo and his parents.  Jerry is fascinated when he discovers Michelangelo’s father Giancarlo, (Fabio Armiliato) has an amazing operatic voice, but only when he’s in the shower.

Then there’s the young newlyweds, Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) whose honeymoon to Rome becomes a comedy of errors when Antonio gets mixed up with local hooker Anna (Penélope Cruz) and Milly gets star-struck by local actor Luca Salta (Antonio Albanese).  Three Americans staying in Rome, architecture student Jack (Jessie Eisenberg), his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) and her best friend Monica (Ellen Page) find themselves in a love triangle of sorts with an older architect (Alec Baldwin) oddly popping up as the voice of Jack’s conscience.

The most disconnected story of all is that of an ordinary middle-aged Italian office clerk (Roberto Benigni) who wakes up one day and finds out he is now famous just because he is famous.  Each of the stories is quirky and entertaining on their own.  The cast of Italian and American actors are all really good in their roles with Penélope Cruz being especially amusing as the local business mens’ favourite escort.  The dialogue has some clever moments and Woody Allen’s typical sharp wit.  However, To Rome With Love never quite reaches the same brilliance as his Oscar nominated film Midnight in Paris.

To Rome With Love is fairly light entertainment and Woody Allen fans will definitely want to check it out.  While it’s not his best film ever, it certainly isn’t his worst, those looking for a pleasant and fun trip to Rome are in for an enjoyable 112 minutes.

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To Rome With Love DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

To Rome With Love is the latest feature from Woody Allen that alternates between four separate stories set in Rome. Having fallen in love with pro bono Roman lawyer Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti), tourist Hayley (Alison Pill) has invited her parents, Jerry and Phyllis (Woody Allen and Judy Davis) to Rome. Jerry discovers that Michelangelo’s father Giancarlo (operatic tenor Fabio Armiliato) has an amazing voice in the shower. As a retired opera producer, Jerry books a recital and production of Pagliacci featuring Giancarlo singing from inside a shower stall.

Italian newlyweds Antonio and Milly (Alessandro Tiberi and Alessandra Mastronardi) arrive in Rome from a small town to take a job with Antonio’s uncles. Milly goes out and gets lost, running into one of her favourite movie stars, Luca Salta (Antonio Albanese), a middle aged philanderer who takes her to lunch with hopes of seduction. Meanwhile, call girl Anna (Penélope Cruz) shows up mistakenly in Antonio’s room just as the uncles and aunts arrive, and Antonio has no choice but to pass her off as Milly, leading to farcical results.

Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) is a typical middle class Roman who inexplicably finds himself a celebrity with hack journalists and paparazzi fascinated with every banal detail of his life. American students Jack and Sally (Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig) live happily together until Sally’s actor friend Monica (Ellen Page) comes for a visit. Both Jack and Sally underestimate the seductive appeal of the uninhibited and smooth talking Monica despite warnings by the older and more experienced John (Alec Baldwin) watching over their shoulders.

Though not as great as his previous Midnight in Paris, To Rome With Love is a good Woody Allen film with much of the wit and absurdity of his best work. The stories mesh together nicely, making the 112 minute running time (longer than usual for Allen) seem much shorter, as the perfectly cast characters cope hilariously in both languages with life in the Eternal City.

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Consensus: The latest from writer and director Woody Allen, To Rome With Love is an enjoyable romantic comedy that follows numerous different characters and is carried by a good cast, providing plenty of light entertainment.  **3/4 (Out of 4)

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