Last evening, my husband and I visited Rome, kindness of Woody Allen, in his sweet and funny film, TO ROME WITH LOVE. An Our Town gone upscale and contemporary, the film gently and gleefully satirizes its characters’ (and our own) frailties, with keen attention to the particularities of the Eternal City. Laugh-out-loud moments (La doccia, the shower, will take on new meaning for all viewers) combine with poignant scenes of innocence meeting experience (a robber foiling an imminent tryst in a hotel-room, a hooker confused with a wife), and a fantastically annoying character (Monica, whose name becomes a synonym for manipulation) to entertain and delight. Allen skewers our obsession with celebrity, and the always-amazing Roberto Begnini takes us with him during his fifteen minutes of fame. With the Voice of Experience (Alec Baldwin) exhorting characters not to act against reason, of course, they do, and experience, as always, evidences itself as the most memorable, if not the only, teacher. “Every individual has a story” is the premise that compels Allen’s piece. The film’s ending, spoken by an “everyman” who lives above the Spanish Steps, reminds us that when we come to Rome again, still other stories, including our own, will be waiting to unfold.
Arrivederci for now,