To Rome With Love
Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The design of the architecture spills romance. The history of the former empire tells an epic tale that people still talk about. The food zings with flavor and passion. During my third year in college, I got the privilege of studying abroad in this Italian gem. For a while, I was able to wake up to the sights of the renaissance, and travel through the city to get to school. Each afternoon would lead our group to another gorgeous site. Each night would lead us to a glass of wine and a stroll through the Spanish Steps or maybe the Tivoli Fountain. I loved it then, and I would love it for another millennium.
In the heart of Italy, is the setting of the latest from Woody Allen, To Rome With Love. In the past several years, he has taken us to Spain in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and to Paris in Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen has a thirst for the culture of Europe. I can understand, as life can suddenly seem more beautiful and filling there then the American lifestyle. Beauty is attractive, but the soul of the land is what makes Europe great.
Rather then following a single story, To Rome With Love takes a more ensemble route and follows several people. For ninety minutes, we are taken into Rome to see the lives of both native Italians and travel bound Americans. Each of these people love the city as much as I do, and discover how life in Rome can change them. We all seek something more then a snapshot and a souvenir. Is it romance? Fulfillment? I wanted to go to learn the language and live like they do. It was simple, but it was something that I still talk about. The movie gives us something picturesque but with little on the inside.
Midnight in Paris had the attraction and intelligence that I wanted from this movie. This plays off more like a sporadic television show with the episodes spliced badly together. The problem here is not the stories, but the way there presented to us. One story involving Woody Allen and his soon to be brother as an opera singer probably takes place within a month. Another story involving Jessie Eisenberg and a romance with Ellen Page might have evolved in only a week. But another story involving a newly wed Italian couple only takes place in less then a day.
The stories probably came out better on paper, and may even work separately. But with the way this movie was edited, the pacing is really uneven. There is no sense of continuation and no attempt to connect these stories together. Normally this would make the film seem more like real life, but here is just feels disjointed. This also causes the movie to feel overlong. Some of the stories needed less time then the others. The opera story needed more scenes while the newlywed story could have been cut down way more
I’m giving this two Rome travel guides out of five. I love Rome, but not this Rome. Woody Allen needs to hire a new editor if he wants to keep his glory that his legacy. Maybe it’s time to pack the bags and return home from vacation.