To Rome With Love -- Movie Review

To Rome With Love

Directed by Woody Allen

Woody Allen has always been hit and miss for me.   Sometimes I like him, sometimes I don't.  I've seen many of his films and he keeps drawing me back despite my mixed feelings.   This one is a miss, I'm afraid I have to say.  It is a travel brochure for the city of Rome.  Not a lot of substance.  Several parallel narratives are going on at the same time.  Variants on similar themes.  Many traditional Woody Allen themes of upper middle class malaise reappear.  This time he particularly takes aim at the American cult of celebrity and the Italian obsession with opera celebrities.  The way he goes about it doesn't work for me, although the image of the opera star performing on stage in the shower is memorable.  Some situations are amusing, here and there is a good line.  Other people in the theater were laughing and seemed to be enjoying it.  Was I the only one bored to death?  What's the matter with people?  There was one line that stayed with me.  "Go ahead.  Walk into the propeller."  I can relate to that.  The acting is good, although there isn't anything really challenging in this.  The part that worked was Penelope Cruz and the sequences of the whore drawn into the role of the ersatz wife, shocking the new groom's family.  At the party all the men knew her.  Penelope Cruz is always a hit, even in a bad movie.  The rest was pretty lame.  But I'll probably go see the next thing he does.  He doesn't appear to be contemplating retirement.