Woody in Rome

What’s the Italian for “I’ll sit this one out?” Continuing his Grand Tour of Europe, Woody Allen has now made a film set in the Eternal City. Can it be as dull as the mystifyingly over-rated “Midnight in Paris”? (How on earth did that win an Oscar?) Slate’s reviewer doesn’t seem to have been impressed:

It would require a separate essay to express the peculiar melancholy I feel about Woody Allen’s current incarnation as a maker of wistful European travelogues… On the one hand, it’s nice to see him enjoying himself in the fresh air after the bitter, stagnant feel of his late New York-set films (Anything Else, the dreadful Whatever Works). And Allen’s partnership with the cinematographer Darius Khondji has given viewers some mouth-watering opportunities for vicarious travel.

But Allen lets both himself and his characters (especially the men) off the hook too easily: There are plenty of ideas, but not enough effort or genuine introspection. Even as Allen invites us to explore historic neighbourhoods in the world’s most exquisite cities, it’s hard to shake the feeling he’s slumming.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: www.facebook.com/clive.davis.10 Instagram: clivephotos
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