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Review: To Rome With Love

Woody Allen's slight stories
By ANN LEWINSON  |  July 5, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars

Woody Allen's European vacation winds down with four tales that indulge his usual preoccupations: hookers, sell-outs, fame, mortality, and hot bi chicks. Alec Baldwin plays the sell-out, a shopping-mall architect trying to stop an idealistic student (Jesse Eisenberg) from dumping his nice classmate (Greta Gerwig) for her best friend (Ellen Page), who namedrops Kierkegaard, is in analysis, and last made sense when Diane Keaton played her. Allen plays a retired opera director who discovers a gifted mortician (Fabio Armiliato) who can only sing in the shower, a gag that is not funnier the second time. Roberto Benigni plays an average Giuseppe who wakes up one morning to find himself besieged by paparazzi, and Penélope Cruz gets the thankless role of a prostitute mistaken for a newlywed. Allen undermines these slight stories by cutting between them, even though the timelines don't match up. As Baldwin says: "With age comes exhaustion."

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