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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2012
I've just seen this film and it's the best tonic I've had this Autumn. The actors are spot on, the theme is hilarious and very 'Woody Allen'. There are breathtaking views of Rome throughout and you get the wonder of that beautiful city. The various theme sketches were unconnected and each had its own charm and surprises. Woody, as always, was a great character and his wife, Judy Davis, was a perfect complement to him. Alec Baldwin played the best part I've ever seen him in and Penelope Cruz should get an Oscar for her part as the dazzling whore and her command of the Italian language. Yes,it has sub-titles for the Italian parts but this in no way detracts from your enjoyment and makes it all the more authentic. Woody has a dig at the 'celeb' status and Roberto Benigni plays the victim of overnight fame for no good reason and that story is gut-achingly funny. The real-life opera singer, Fabrio Armiliato, is not only brilliant in his part but has a wonderful voice and despite the comedic element of his role, his voice touches you to the core. This is light-hearted comedy at its very best with good music throughout to set the scene. It's soooo Italian and you are totally caught up in the characters and can find it all quite believable. I just didn't want it to end.
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If you have seen every Woody Allen movie in the past decade, then the way this one goes will be no surprise. If you've not seen them, then this one may inspire you to see them. It's a typical Allen scenario - two young couples face challenges to their relationships when they find themselves in romantic climes. In one case, the mix is complicated by a comic muddle over the identity of the young man's bride, the confusing emerging from a twist of fate involving a call-girl (Penélope Cruz). In the other, there is the matter of resisting a girl whose provocative but blithe sexuality attracts the attention of more than one man.

Infidelity and their comic fallout are Allen's stock-in-trade. They have featured in almost every movie he has ever made. It even slipped into his most prosaic and serious movie - Interiors. Even so, Allen always controls it, and keeps it just this side of being ridiculous; though this movie does take the farce a little further than most.

Allen has also often questioned the meaning of fame. Famously unconcerned with his own fame, Allen visits the subject here again, but this time from a new perspective: that of un-earned fame. An ordinary man finds himself suddenly the object of media attention, is adored by everyone. Though baffled by fame, he soon realises the benefits it brings. He is thus feted by the masses; his opinion is sought on the most trivial of matters, and so on. His fame also lures him into infidelity, aided by a tide of women who are inexplicably excited by this confused, balding, middle-aged nobody in a suit. Allen digs into the question of fame a second time, when looking at how someone resisting fame may be turned.

There is a lot of Italian dialogue in this movie. The subtitles don't stay on the screen very long, so you have to be a quick reader or use the pause button. When Penélope Cruz gets in a rage, it's hard to keep up with her. This, coupled with the many threads of plot, few of which overlap, make the movie over-complicated at times. However, if you can handle all the stories Allen tells at once, then this is a fun movie that, as with all Allen movies, will leave you with enough relationship questions to keep the after-dinner conversations going for a week.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 November 2012
While not great Woody Allen - it's neither profound, moving nor funny
enough for that title, it is quite enjoyable.

The film is made up of four intercut short stories, that share little
other than the fact they're set in Rome. Some have fantasy elements,
some are more absurdist, others more straightforward character farce.

But somehow, though they don't make much of a logical grouping, the
whole thing is lighthearted and fun enough that it seems grumpy to pick
on it.

Sure some jokes fall flat and some ideas seem unfulfilled, but a lot of
it is wonderfully acted and cleverly written. And at a time when so
many comedies are aimed only at 15 year olds, even 2nd tier Woody,
simply telling playfully comic tales, is a welcome sight.
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on 16 May 2014
He is such a great filmmaker! Sadly this is not in my opinion one of his best, its saving grace are the beautiful pictures of Rome. I suppose if you look at his huge body of work there is bound to be some disappointments this if one.
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on 13 October 2013
This film had poor reviews from the critics who said that it was shallow and a let down after Midnight in Paris. DON'T TAKE ANY NOTICE OF THEM.
This is a wonderful film, all about how the trivia and shallowness of everyday life become so life-absorbing to most people.

This is a feel-good film, very amusing, with loads of wonderfully witty lines that cause you to laugh aloud. The story lines are superbly crafted and interwoven, and the directing and photography are first class. It's vintage Woody Allen - in positive happy mood (though with the usual occasional amusingly philosophical interjections about life's meaning and death) - all the way through, and all the threads are wrapped up neatly so that everyone in the film is grateful.

Highly, highly recommended. A treasure of a film. I really, really love it.
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on 5 May 2013
The film consists of four parallel stories that take place in Rome. Each story is a criticism of the entertainment industry. Likewise the total movie is a criticism in that it which incorporates an over abundance of Italian music and formulaic plots. Allen also adds his frequent themes of sex, love, death, and culture.

In one tale celebrity status is spoofed as an ordinary man suddenly is famous for being famous.

In another tale we see a Hollywood actress have an affair with her friend's boyfriend. This was classic Allen as Alec Baldwin plays the voice of intellect and reason within all of our heads, the one we ignore when a woman becomes a possible conquest.

A third tale includes Allen himself as a retired producer with bad ideas, but has convinced himself he is simply ahead of his time.

The fourth tale involves a small town woman almost seduced by a celebrity, while her husband attempts to pass off a prostitute as his wife.

While the stories ran parallel, they were connected through the use of sound track and common style, as if to say, all movies about Italy are the same. I feel the film would have been better if Allen had left off that fourth story and spent more time on the other three. The episode with Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg with Alec Baldwin was my favorite and I wish they had stretched that one out. That was more of the old classic Woody Allen that I love. Perhaps if I was familiar with "The Decameron" I would have liked this film more.

Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb (thank you Ellen); no nudity. Implied sex and sex talk.
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on 12 January 2014
Saw part of this film on TV. Just had to buy the DVD to see how it ended. Hilariously funny throughout. Guaranteed to put you in a good mood.
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on 5 June 2013
As always, the latest Woody Allen film was deemed to be not as good as ANNIE HALL, not as funny as SLEEPER etc etc etc. Then a friend who's not a movie buff said that she really enjoyed it. And why not? It's laugh out loud funny, the three plotlines aren't random (there is an underlying theme) and the cast are as good as you could want.. Set expectations lower than "masterpiece" and you'll have a much more enjoyable 100 minutes than a lot of better received films.
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on 14 October 2013
Its OK but not one of Allen's best. Not very memorable to be honest! If you want to watch a really superb Woody Allen film buy Midnight in Paris instead which is a fabulous film that we watch again and again!
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on 6 June 2015
I enjoyed this one. Woody Allen's got his obsessions: the word 'neurotic', references to the novels of Magnus Mills, Edward Gaitens and James Kelman, etc. The setting here is a hurried redux of Midnight in Paris, basically - it's Allen's innocent abroad template. The septic over the pond. It works well - Woody Allen crosses the ocean like a pirate, while Richard Curtis crosses it like a plate of chips on a Sealink ferry in choppy water.

Top marks for Roberto Benigni and Penélope Cruz here - they both make this a big screen deal. The screenplay is equal parts genius and stupid but the actors make it.
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