Aahhh … Rome …. The Eternal City …. the place that makes you forget everything and just want to be in love … if only that path ran smoothly.
Here in Rome, people’s lives are played out against the marvellous backdrop of history, monuments, warm weather and pure pleasure in the air. Jerry (by Woody Allen) has travelled to Rome to meet the man his daughter Hayley (by Allison Pill) plans to marry. Jerry has some difficulty accepting his retirement and his wife, Phyllis (by Judy Davis) patiently works through these issues (along with all this other neuroses) with him. Upon arrival, they meet Hayley’s betrothed, Michaelangelo (by Flavio Parenti) and his family welcomes Jerry and Phyllis into their home. Meanwhile, architectural apprentice Jack (by Jesse Eisenberg) and student Sally (by Greta Gerwig), who live an idyllic Roman life together, make room for Sally’s best friend, Monica (by Ellen Page) who comes to stay. Sally knows that usually everyone falls in love with Monica, but she’s just getting over a nasty breakup, so she won’t be interested in a new relationship just now, right? Jack bumps into his professional idol John (by Alec Baldwin\ and invites him home for coffee. On the other side of town, newlyweds Antonio (by Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (by Alessandra Mastronardi) have just arrived in town from their coutry home. They settle into their honeymoon suite and prepare to meet Antonio’s uncles, who have paved the way for his stunning new career in Rome. At the same hotel, a mischievous group of friends have prepared a “surprise” for their mate and arranged for call-girl Anna (by Penelope Cruz) to make a “special” visit to his suite, Later that day, everyday family man, Leonardo (by Roberto Benigni) very happily married to Sofia (by Monica Nappo) somehow finds himself surrounded by paparazzi and the next “big thing” in town – yes, it’s just another ordinary day here in Rome really …..
This is a lightweight, daydream through various complex lives and scenarios that play out across Rome. Somehow time seems to stand still while the people involved all get themselves into sticky situations, which magically resolve themselves by the end of the movie. It is a beautifully made piece and easy to watch – what’s not to like about a movie set in Rome? The styling is wonderful, the colour is uplifting and the characters are all authentic. As Woody Allen movies go – and hot on the heels of “Midnight in Paris”, it’s not nearly as good, but it’s okay. The irritations I usually find with Allen’s movies are lesser here – his propensity to populate his movies with characters who are all New York nerotics who think of nothing but themselves is lesser here – thankfully Jerry (Woody Allen’s own character) is the only one like that. The others are all very enjoyable – I like Alec Baldwin in comedy, he plays it straight very very well. Penelope Cruz is great here (as she was in “Vicki Cristina Barcelona”) and I like the efforts of Jesse Eisenberg too. I think Roberto Benigni is just being himself, but either way he’s entertaining. It’s a nice movie, with typical but still enjoyable comedy.
Made in 2012. Directed by Woody Allen