The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Rome With Love

Woody Allen's latest picture postcard travelogue involves four vignettes set in Rome, Italy where the camera embraces the sunlit historic ruins, piazzas, cobbled streets, and zooming drivers. Not as centered on a fantasy like Midnight in Paris, the unconnected stories involve an architect, an architect student, his girlfriend with a visiting actress friend, a young couple from the country, an normal Italian family man and a recently retired opera director. Besides writing and directing Woody also stars in his first role since Scoop in 2006.

Actors all proclaim that they have all wanted to be asked to be in a Woody Allen movie. There's a mystique and challenge that is associated with the prolific director and writer that doesn't really direct his actors instead relying on their instincts for their characters. It's seems like a who's the new up and comers in the industry mixed with Woody's stable of favorite actors. Alison Pill plays Hayley an American tourist who meets cute the Michaelangelo (Flavio Parenti) and before you know it they are engaged to be married. Her parents from NY come to meet the Italian family. Haley's mom is Judy Davis as Phyllis who is married to Jerry (Woody) a not so happily retired opera director who in signature neurotic cadence complains about most things. Until he meets Michaelangelo's father Giancarlo (Fabio Armillato) whose singing voice in the shower inspires Jerry to come out of retirement. Roberto Benigni is Leopoldo, a office worker and regular guy, with a wife and two kids. He goes off to work one morning when he's suddenly sucked into a Karadasian syndrome vortex where someone is famous just for being famous. Paparazzi follow him and report every meaningless gesture as if it's breaking news. John (Alec Baldwin) is a successful architect who gets lost trying to find his old neighborhood and runs into Jack (Jesse Eisenberg) who like John did in his younger years is living in Rome studying buildings. Jack's beautiful girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) is expecting her good friend Monica (Ellen Page) flying in and she is fretting that Monica will steal Jack away because she is so sexy and vivacious. Alessandro Tiberi and Alessandra Mastronardi are Antonio and Milly a young married couple who are from the country that have come to the city to meet with Antonio's relatives and join the family firm. Milly gets lost and hooker Anna (Penélope Cruz) ends up filling in the wife role.

The dialogue is sharp and amusing, but lacks coherence jumping from story to story. In Woody's movies everyone talks, talks, talks. It's non stop verbiage that is often times is interesting, clever but still wordy. The only section out of sync is John. Baldwin is almost the Bogart figure from Play It Again Sam, being the voice of consciousness for Jack as he contemplates having an affair with Monica. He's there, but not there. It was confusing. It's Penélope Cruz who as usual steals the movie as the prostitute pretending to be the wife of the mousy husband. You know he gets schooled. And the amazing opera voice of Fabio Armiliato is wonderful but Jerry's concept for the opera staring Giancarlo just goes on too long. The film is a curiosity. Not the best, but still worth visiting Rome with Woody when the DVD comes out.
(Review by reesa)

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