Like most Woody Allen movies, To Rome With Love features an all-star cast: heavy hitters Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Penélope Cruz and Roberto Benigni join familiar faces Carol Alt, Alison Pill, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and, of course, Allen himself, in a film about the lives of residents of and visitors to Rome and the adventures people have that will change their lives forever.
Allen says, “So much of the action and activity in Rome takes place outside, in its cafes and streets. It’s an amazing city just to walk in. The city itself is a work of art.” Rome is a city of very contemporary and sophisticated people as well as people who are very traditional. It attracts numerous visitors, from businessmen to tourists, all of whom are passing in and out of Rome and enjoying its delights. For Allen, it was a place that was too vast to be contained in a single plot. “I felt the city of Rome lent itself to a number of diverse tales,” he says. “It was pregnant with possibilities. If you stop a hundred Romans, they’ll tell you, ‘I’m from the city, I know it well and I could give you a million stories.”
The film centers around just a few of those stories: A well-known American architect (Baldwin) vacationing in Rome is reliving his youth and watching a young man (Eisenberg) who reminds him of himself at an earlier age fall in love with his girlfriend’s friend (Page). An average middle-class Roman (Benigni) suddenly finds himself Rome’s biggest celebrity. And a retired American opera director (Allen) finds an undiscovered musical talent in his daughter’s soon-to-be father-in-law.
The bond between many of the characters is a desire to be appreciated. Says Allen: “People desire fame for the same reason they pursue anything. Everything we do, whether it’s fame, money, pretty clothes, possessions, artistic or athletic skill, whatever it is, what you are trying to do is attract a member of the opposite sex, as disguised as that may be in the actual action.”
To Rome With Love is available starting January 15 on Video On Demand. Check your local cable system for availability.
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