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Woody Allen’s latest European jaunt sees him returning to a lead role, this time as a neurotic retired opera director visiting a suitably photogenic Rome to vet his daughter’s fiancé.
Trading some of the movie’s wittiest lines with his long-suffering wife (Judy Davis), he inadvertently sets out to promote a singing undertaker. Cue several great comedic essays involving various Allen regulars, such as doe-eyed honeymooners tormented by a hooker (a pulchritudinous Penélope Cruz), a lowly executive who unwittingly finds instant celebrity (Roberto Benigni), and a renowned architect (Alec Baldwin) revisiting his Roman youth and offering advice to an earnest student (Jesse Eisenberg) whose cosy romance is interrupted by a predatory actress (Ellen Page).
With Allen at the helm and front of stage, TO ROME WITH LOVE is a delightful meditation on fame, nostalgia and, inevitably, love.