Day 194: To Rome With Love

91Z2UrFxZ-L._SL1500_In keeping with Woody’s apparent interest in shooting films in Europe rather than New York (Midnight in Paris, his last film, was shot in, well, Paris.

A couple of previous films – Scoop, Match Point, and Vicky Christina Barcelona – were shot in England and Spain). To Rome With Love was shot in Italy.

With lots of Italian dialogue.

And English subtitles.

I’ve seen worse movies. In fact, I’ve seen worse Woody movies.

To Rome with Love is an interesting movie, mostly because Woody Allen plays Woody Allen. And, at 77, he still plays his old character well.

Also of interest in the film is the cast:

Judy Davis … Phyllis
Flavio Parenti … Michelangelo
Roberto Benigni … Leopoldo
Alison Pill … Hayley
Alessandro Tiberi … Antonio
Alessandra Mastronardi … Milly
Alec Baldwin … John
Carol Alt … Carol
David Pasquesi … Tim
Woody Allen … Jerry
Jesse Eisenberg … Jack
Penélope Cruz … Anna
Ellen Page … Monica

Penelope Cruz returns. And looks stunning in a red hooker dress. Alison Pill returns (she was Zelda Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris).

Ellen Page is woefully miscast. She has zero chemistry with Jesse Eisenberg, supposedly her love interest in the film.

Alec Baldwin plays a kind of spiritual adviser Continue reading

Day 190: Vicky Christina Barcelona

51lv-e4WLsLOkay. Given the hype surrounding Vicky Christina Barcelona at the time it was being shot (it was reportedly a trouser-tenting romp with steamy scenes between Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz), I remember feeling quite underwhelmed when I saw it in the theater.

I don’t feel any more “whelmed” seeing it again now.

Vicky Christina Barcelona is – as you might expect – set in Spain. And it begins when scruffy faced and sexy Javier Bardem approaches American friends Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Christina (Johansson) in a bar and asks them to fly off with him for sex.

Christina wants to immediately. Vicky swears she will not.

But both do.

After awhile, they eventually part ways, with Christina staying with Bardem.

Enter fiery temptress Penelope Cruz, who complicates things greatly.

Vicky marries a straight-laced guy and begins to lead a normal life, which is what she thought she wanted.

But she secretly pines for Bardem.

This is a movie – with its story told via voice-over narration – is about relationships, love, infidelity, sex, and…hmmm.

In other words, it’s another Woody movie.

Who sleeps with whom? Who stays with whom? Who’s happy? Who’s not?

Watch and see.