To Rome With Love
Woody Allen’s latest European-based summer romance is charmingly entertaining, but it doesn’t match the sustained effervescence and delight of its dazzling predecessors, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and Midnight in Paris (2011). Architectural student Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) and his live-in girlfriend, Sally (Greta Gerwig), have some unexpected romantic challenges when her actress friend, Monica (Ellen Page), comes to visit them in Rome. Newlyweds Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi), just arrived from Pordenone, get farcically separated, and then romantically distracted—he with a misdirected hooker (Penélope Cruz), she with a porky movie actor. Visiting student Hayley (Alison Pill) falls in love with the son of a mortician, after a chance meeting. When Hayley’s parents (Woody Allen, Judy Davis) come to visit, dad Jerry (Allen) tries to create a career in opera for the peculiarly talented mortician (Flavio Parenti). A scrawny-looking office worker (Roberto Benigni) gets swept into a few silly minutes of fame—and a satirical bit of romance—through the extravagant absurdities of reality TV. And an American architect (Alec Baldwin) weighs in as a semi-symbolic alter ego for Jack. The young couples have the best of it. Baldwin, Cruz and Davis have good moments, but the attempts at satire have little real impact. Cinemark 14. Rated R.