Tag Archives: Jesse Eisenberg

To Rome with Love

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

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Movies


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The Social Network

This is about the beginnings of the social networking phenomenon. We meet Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) as a brilliant, but eccentric computer nerd at Harvard University in 2003. In the opening scene (stick with it, it’s chaotic but just try to follow the dialogue) Mark is summarily dumped by his girlfriend. To take revenge on her he creates an internet listing that rates the girls in the Harvard colleges. This is called Facemash and whilst the backlash gets him in a heap of trouble, it also sparks interest by the Winkelvoss twins, Cameron and Tyler (both played by Armie Hammer) who want to create a network of Harvard undergraduates. Zuckerberg agrees but develops his own Harvard network called The Facebook instead. To develop this further Mark teams up with his best friend Eduardo Saverin (by Andrew Garfield) to as an investor for the scheme. The story progresses through the court case mounted by the Winkelvoss twins to sue Zuckerberg, his own huge success with Facebook and the outcomes of each of his original business/personal relationships where friendship, loyalty, envy and competitiveness are played out. A great component of this is provided by Sean Parker (by Justin Timberlake) who is the creator of Napster and was an early supporter of Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Jesse Eisenberg is great in this role – perhaps not always someone you like, but really interesting character. The others are good too, Armie Hammer does the Winkelvoss twins beautifully, Andrew Garfield is great and Justin Timberlake does very well. The film is really interesting too – it’s based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich.

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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Movies


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