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A review of To Rome with Love

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Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:00 am

The need to pontificate is one of the curses of aging, and as my beyond-senior mother would say, “That’s not a question.” 

If you are a senior and recognize this impulse in yourself, consider yourself fortunate. If you recognize the inclination, it’s possible to control it, and I know this because I saw “To Rome with Love,” written and directed by Woody Allen, a man in his 70s. Whether Woody Allen, in his latest movie, the artist doesn’t lecture, judge, or moralize. He presents several perspectives on love, relationships, celebrity, and talent. Then, he stands back so viewers can ponder, discuss, and conclude. 

This movie is thought provoking, but not at the expense of visual beauty. There is Rome, of course, but also handsome men and attractive women. Woody Allen has an eye for intriguing people—people who appear to have depth—and he makes sure we get the message by filling each actor’s mouth with wit. 

Woody Allen demonstrated his knack for casting when he chose Roberto Benigni for the role of a man who walks out his front door to find that he has become a celebrity for no good reason. Mr. Benigni, the actor who wrote and starred in “Life is Beautiful,” a 1997 film that received seven Academy Award nominations, has a memorable profile that he used to great advantage. I laughed out loud every time he was in a scene. 

It’s been said that Federico Fellini considered him a genius. I’m with Mr. Fellini.

Another great casting choice was Antonio Albanese, for the role of a celebrated leading man who wears an overcoat draped over his shoulders and a fedora on his head, and enters every venue as though plowing over the bodies of adoring women at his feet. He oozes womanizer. Albanese is a former Olympic fencer who became a comedian. 

I highly recommend seeing “To Rome with Love.” It’s playing at the Century Oro Valley Marketplace.

(Editor’s Note: If you would like to submit a review, send to tgrimes@explorernews.com. Make the Subject line Review.)

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