At one point in Woody Allen’s rambling, absurdist, vignette stuffed, overflowing pasta dish of a new film, Woody’s character says to his psychiatrist wife (Judy Davis) when she tries to psychoanalyze him something to the effect of, “Go ahead, thousands have tried and failed.” On the surface Woody appears to be attempting it on himself here in To Rome With Love. As is such with latter-day Allen flicks, this one is a beautifully photographed postcard of a film, pseudo-intellectual stuff for American tourists, as much a fluffy love letter to Rome as it is a love letter to Allen himself. But Woody is only psychoanalyzing himself for comedic effect (I suppose that’s the eternal self-loather in him), and in many ways this film is as much a jab at his fickle critics and fans who seem lost in this haze that every other film of his stinks. Some are clearly better than others (thus is the curse of being prolific) – but they rarely stink. But if you insist on categorizing this thing, I would say this is at the higher end of the low-end of post millennial Woody. Yes…I guess it’s just above middling, if you must.
There are a million stories in the eternal city, and Allen – the seemingly eternal filmmaker – finds in Rome a kindred spirit. Damn his silly old soul if he doesn’t try to tell a million of those stories in a single film. Continue reading