Skip: ‘To Rome with Love’
On the other end of the auteur spectrum is this. Initially conceived as a modern-day take on The Decameron, legendary writer-director Woody Allen’s follow-up to his highest-grossing film in theaters, Midnight in Paris, is a romantic comedy comprised of four vignettes set in Rome. The love letter to Rome stars Allen, marking his first acting role since 2006’s dreadful Scoop, along with a talented ensemble cast, including Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, Greta Gerwig, Judy Davis, and Life Is Beautiful’s Roberto Benigni, in a comeback role. Unlike the lovely Midnight in Paris, however, this utopian vision of the rich and famous in Italy—which, in real life, is currently in the throes of an economic crisis—is a trifling affair bogged down by unfunny jokes. To make matters worse, the actors stumble over Allen’s dialogue—in particular a miscast Ellen Page—making them sound like hyperliterate Dawson’s Creek characters. Allen seems lethargic and unmotivated onscreen, and the film is, overall, a bit of a bore.