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Movie review: Woody goes 'To Rome With Love,' but with fewer laughs

Published July 6, 2012 12:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Woody Allen's European travelogue continues in "To Rome With Love," but this stop is far less engaging than last year's "Midnight in Paris."

Allen sets up four unrelated comic stories around Trevi Fountain: An American student (Jesse Eisenberg) dithers between his mildly neurotic girlfriend (Greta Gerwig) and her flighty actress friend (Ellen Page); a retired record producer (Allen) discovers his daughter's future father-in-law (Fabio Armiliato) has an operatic voice; a honeymooning rural couple (Allesandro Tiberi and Alessandra Mastronardi) have separate misadventures, he with a prostitute (Penelope Cruz), she with a famous actor (Antonio Albanese); and a mild-mannered accountant (Roberto Benigni) inexplicably becomes famous.

There are some funny bits, notably Benigni's flustered reactions and Alec Baldwin's turn as a rueful Greek chorus to the Eisenberg/Gerwig/Page triangle. The disjointed stories feel like pages from Allen's sketchbook, riffs from underdeveloped story ideas thrown together haphazardly.

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'To Rome With Love'

Opens Friday, July 6, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for some sexual references; in English and Italian with subtitles; 102 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.