To Rome With Love
If it were possible, I’d be on a plane to Rome right now.
It’s not. So, it’s very fortunate that Woody Allen seems to have caught all my Rome-obsessed vibes of late and released a new film, “To Rome With Love.” I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m looking forward to it because it stars three of my favorites: Woody Allen, Roberto Benigni and Jesse Eisenberg (from “The Social Network”).
I’ve loved Woody Allen since my godmother Alice took me to see “Annie Hall” in the 70s when I was a little kid. I wanted to grow up to be Annie Hall. From that moment, I was hooked on Woody Allen films. I’ve always been drawn to the heavier stories, like “Another Woman” or “Hannah and Her Sisters.” However, I think that “Broadway Danny Rose” is one of the funniest movies ever made and I equally love “Midnight in Paris” and “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” I love them all. I even adore his soundtracks. I enjoy playing them while I’m sipping a glass of wine and preparing dinner.
My godmother, Alice, is simply obsessed with Woody. It’s not far-fetched to conclude that her second husband, a Jewish analyst named Michael, is a very Freudian surrogate-Woody figure. She took me to see Woody play the clarinet at a club in New York City once. We sat at a table in the front of the house – directly in front of him. We were both in heaven.
It’s funny. At the time, I was doing an internship at Christie’s, the auction house on Park Avenue. In one of those life moments that can only be seen as the melding of fate and irony, one day I exited the front door and bumped directly into someone working on Woody’s next film — ironically called, “Alice.” Somehow, I was invited to watch the filming the next day.
I remember standing so closely behind Woody as he directed that I could have touched the bald spot on his head. I didn’t get to meet him. I was told he was strange and didn’t talk to people on the set. When filming concluded, within the blink of an eye, he quickly shuffled into a beat up 80s station wagon waiting nearby and the driver whisked him way into Manhattan gridlock.
I couldn’t complain, though, because that day I was introduced to Brian Dennehy, producer Robert Greenhut and comedian Bill Murray, who was as sarcastic and witty in real life as he is in his films. And very, very tall.
Back to Woody’s latest….
“To Rome with Love” also features Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz, who speaks fluent Italian and has been in a number of Italian films, including one I’m still trying to figure out called, “Non ti Muovere.” Also in the cast is the quirky and adorable Ellen Page.
Here’s the trailer.