Inflight Movie – To Rome With Love

Posted on 28th Oct 2012 by ian under Cinema | No Comments »

I must say I love in-flight movies.  I enjoyed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Magic of Belle Isle and even Katy Perry’s Part of Me but the stand out was Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love.  It’s had some very good reviews and some lukewarm reviews and I guess Allen would be used to that by now.  It gets a ‘very good’ movie review from me.

On the surface it looks like a simple movie but that, to me, shows Allen’s talent as a director.  There are four different stories in the movie that are unrelated but somehow flow together seamlessly and not just because they have Rome and romance in common.

It is a neat trick because one story takes place over hours, another over days, the third over weeks and the fourth over months.  Two vignettes are in Italian with subtitles and Allen uses different styles of direction – sometimes paying homage to Fellini and sometimes to himself.

There are shades of early Allen (Bananas, Take the Money and Run) in the script, the silliness, the satire and the self-portrayal.  The character Allen plays is his usual insecure, paranoid, psychologically fragile, slightly pathetic self but this time with a difference – he has given his wife (Judy Davis) some delightful put-down lines, apparently something that his real life wife, Soon-Yi enjoys doing.

Soon-Yi and Allen have been together for 20 years now so it is probably time the ‘scandal’ was forgotten although it could be the reason some critics don’t like him.  Allen’s character equates retirement with death… there is more than a hint of autobiography.

Davis is terrific, as is Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page and the charismatic Fabio Armiliato as the tenor mortician who can only hit the high notes in the shower.  And Penélope Cruz as the high-class hooker is a deft pickpocket when it comes to stealing scenes.

There is a lot to like about this movie.