Monday, July 16, 2012

Juliet Goodfriend: Why I Love TO ROME WITH LOVE

BMFI President Juliet Goodfriend shares her thoughts about Woody Allen's latest ensemble comedy, To Rome with Love, currently playing at BMFI. Check back for more posts from BMFI staff and community members that discuss the films we love.

Why I Love To Rome with Love
By Juliet Goodfriend, BMFI President

Why do I love Woody Allen's To Rome with Love? It's more than the scenery, more than the wonderful return of comedian Woody on his screen. It's the satire he uses to propel the theme (that happiness comes only to those who get back into their own authentic skins and out of the phony world of celebrity). The film is totally unified around that theme, even if the time sequencing expands and contracts throughout the film.

But my special epiphany came an hour after I saw it, when I recalled Barcelona performance troupe La Fura dels Baus's staging of Das Rheingold, which was performed at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Spain and broadcast in HD here at BMFI. The Rhine Maidens rose from below in three lucite boxes, filled 3/4 full with water and sang and swam about for many minutes.

If that did not inspire Mr. Allen's tenor-in-a-shower delight in To Rome with Love, I don't know what did. And, by the way, throughout the Rheingold opera I was afraid the maidens would get chilly in the water or aspirate some. I had the same fears for tenor Fabio Armiliato during his arias in the shower. But no one choked or chilled, the audience just basked in the clever warmth of this artful work.

Opera star Fabio Armiliato plays an undertaker whose vocal talent is discovered while he croons in the shower in Woody Allen's To Rome with Love.

If you've seen To Rome with Love, what are your thoughts about the film?


  1. A great Woody Allen movie, which ranks right up there with "Midnight in Paris!" I loved the story that featured Roberto Benigni, with the paparazzi following him around, and his reactions to "being famous for being famous"...and then wanting the spotlight, when he was no longer an icon.

    I'd probably give it 4 stars out of 5, as some of the jokes do wear thin and fall flat, after a while. But the movie, as a whole, was excellent! I would recommend it to any Woody Allen aficionado.

  2. I too loved "To Rome With Love". I have to admit that Woody is not my favorite but he's definitely a familiar old cinema friend. There is one scene that closes in on Woody's face as he's conceiving his wacky idea of how to get this gifted singer on the stage and before an audience who can appreciate him. It's so Woody and utterly hilarious,cause you know what's coming, but it can't be can it? Oh yes it can!!! Won't spoil it for you. Go see it!!!