After opening in Italy nearly two months ago and drawing mostly lukewarm reviews, Woody Allen‘s To Rome With Love finally faces the American music at tonight’s opening at the L.A. Film Festival. Expect the first tweets around 9:30 pm LA time, or 6:30 am Prague time — right when I get up.
Sony Pictures Classics is opening it on 6.22. You’d think that the marketing guys would have put out a different trailer by now, one that’s a little more oblique and flavory and not so on-the-nose.
I still say Allen should have stuck with the original title, The Bop Decameron.
“The movie is a magnificent postcard of the eternal city,” wrote NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli, “a carefree romp along cobblestone streets nestled between ancient ruins and Renaissance palaces. A soft yellow glow pervades every scene. It projects an image of the sweet life with all the charms under the Italian sun, set to the tune of old standbys like ‘Volare’ and ‘Arrivederci Roma.’
“Allen has said he grew up watching Italian cinema and was influenced by its grand masters. While there’s nothing neorealist in his latest movie, it has an echo of Federico Fellini‘s The White Sheik, and Penelope Cruz‘s performance in one segment calls to mind Sophia Loren‘s high-end call girl in Vittorio de Sica‘s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
“The movie is made up of four separate vignettes about love swaps, mistaken identities and the cult of celebrity. One features Allen himself playing a retired, neurotic opera director who tries to make a star out of a man who can sing Pavarotti-quality opera, but only in his shower.
“In another episode, Alec Baldwin plays a famous architect vacationing in Rome, reminiscing about his youth in the city. Along the way, he meets a young American student, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who is love-struck by Ellen Page, playing a narcissistic young actress.”