Feature

To Rome With Love

A quick postcard from the Eternal City.

Directed by Woody Allen
(R)

**

Woody Allen’s latest feels “much like its title”—“familiar, slight, and not very inventive,” said Claudia Puig in USA Today. There are funny moments, but too much is “frivolous and banal.” Four stories interlock: An architect falls for his girlfriend’s friend, an opera director discovers a brilliant singer who can only perform in the shower, two honeymooners enjoy affairs when an accident separates them, and a modest man finds himself suddenly famous. Allen’s previous film, Midnight in Paris, earned acclaim “because it had mood, clever performances,” and “an entrancing plot,” said Mary Pols in Time. This light romp can’t match that, and aside from the efforts of Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg, “few of the performances are memorable.” Among the film’s delights are the ways it casually blends “the plausible and the surreal” and “how unabashedly it revels in pure silliness,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Still, its limitations are “inseparable from its delights.” Scenes often feel “haphazardly constructed,” and the dialogue seems “overwritten and under-rehearsed.” In short, it’s “late-period Woody Allen.”  

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