by Lew Irwin, published on June 22, 2012|
Critics seem to find little to dislike about Woody Allens latest film, To Rome with Love. But, they suggest, like the title, its more like an amiable postcard from afar than a substantive, homey comedy, like his most memorable New York-based movies. Rex Reed in the New York Observer compares it with a Hallmark Valentine, then writes that it has the look and feel of an idea jotted on the back of a menu in the Piazza Navona before a sleepy afternoon siesta, and then filmed before the script was fine-tuned. He adds, Its a movie that probably played out better in Woody Allens head than it does on film. Reed concludes his review with a plea for Allen to pack up the Vuitton and come home. David Germain of the Associated Press remarks that the movie lives up or rather, lives down to the superficial postcard sentiment of its title. But A.O. Scott in the New York Times describes it as this amusing little picture. It is, he writes, as frothy as the milk atop a cappuccino. Nevertheless, he is delighted by the way it blends the plausible and the surreal, and how unabashedly it revels in pure silliness. Claudia Puig in USA Today finds it sporadically funny but complains that the four scenarios are far fetched and that the men get most of the funny lines save for Judy Davis. It is, she concludes, neither one of Allens best, nor among his worst. Its often frivolous and banal, though never tedious. It does offer moments of buoyant humor, farcical fun and consistently gorgeous cinematography. Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times notes that the film obviously displays Allens love of Rome, but lacks the intellectual and emotional rigor that ultimately turned [Midnight in Paris] into something magical. Kyle Smith in the New York Post says that the movie represents Allens latest entry in his Lets Go Grab Some Euro-Film Subsidies period. Smith finds a lot in the movie to criticize, but he concludes, Still, the comedy is passable, and the ways the stories play off each other provides [sic] enough to think about to be engaging.