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To Rome with Love


Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Woody Allen 
Starring: Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg  
An image from To Rome with Love

Following the success of last year’s Midnight in Paris, for which he bagged the Oscar for best original screenplay, Woody Allen continues his European love affair, and opts for Rome as the new object of his affections. Allen’s surreal and fantastical tale blends the lives and loves of several couples, and the adventures and obstacles they find themselves facing in the romantic city.

The four intercut stories are all charming and always entertaining, largely down to some excellent performances from the ensemble cast. Allen steps out from behind the camera in his first acting role since Scoop in 2006. He plays Jerry, a retired opera director who is visiting Rome with his wife (Judy Davis) to meet his future son-in-law, and during the visit is inspired by an unusual source to return to his craft one last time. Another story sees Jesse Eisenberg play Jack, a young architect living in Rome with his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig), but their stable relationship is threatened with the arrival of Sally's friend Monica (Ellen Page), a flirtacious actress who has her sights set on Jack. Newlyweds Antonio and Milly (Alessandro Tiberian and Alessandra Mastronardi) are the subject of another vignette, and are visiting Rome to see family. After losing each other, Milly spends the day with a famous actor while Antonio, due to a mix-up, finds himself in a highly compromising position with a prostitute (Penelope Cruz). The final tale revolves around Leopoldo, a family man frustrated with his monotone life who one day wakes up to find himself a celebrity hounded by the paparazzi.

As we have come to expect of Allen, the script is sharp and fast, and the skillful blend of poignant moments with satirical one liners makes for an entertaining and memorable romantic comedy. While To Rome With Love is by no means a shock departure from the norm for the legendary director, it does offer familiar enjoyment, a beautiful postcard glimpse into the bustling city, and an intelligent and whimsical romp peppered with impressive performances.

Sally Payne

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Spring Term (digital)