To Rome with Love (Woody Allen) - 2012

A better title for this movie would be "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Rome, But Were Afraid to Ask."  This is a film consisting of four short stories that never intersect.  All are set in Rome with mostly Italian actors.  Alec Baldwin acts as a muse for Jesse Eisenberg, trying to convince him not to get involved with an actor (Ellen Page).  Roberto Benigni is a clerk who gets his fifteen minutes of fame but nobody really knows why.  Alessandra Mastronardi and Alessandro Tiberi play a young married couple in awe of the majesty of Rome that includes hookers (Penelope Cruz) and actors (Antonio Albanese).  The fourth story places Woody in the city to meet his future in-laws including Italian tenor Fabio Armiliato.  Woody discovers that Fabio is a great opera singer but only in the shower.  This talent is taken to the absurd as only Woody can do.  None of these stories could fill the 102 minutes and Woody surely knew that.  Many of the typical Woody Allen jokes can be found here but this film would never have seen the big screen without Woody's name on it. [JAM 7/7/2012]