Woody Allen has written many love letters through his films, to cinema, Jazz, different women and different cities. He started in the U.S., where he portrayed some of the most beautiful depictions of New York in films like Manhattan, Hanna and Her Sisters and Radio Days. But now his love migrated to Europe, and we have efforts like Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris and now From Rome with Love.
There are common elements when it comes to these type of films: gorgeous settings and cinematography, a neurotic main lead, beautiful tempting women, wacky characters, and a love triangle. But even if it sounds repetitive, it never is, just like listening to different songs that belong to the same genre. And I’m happy to see he’s not trying to fix something that actually works.
Allen always have a main lead character that is somehow an alter ego of his: neurotic, selfish, curious, confused, non monogamous and so incredibly charming at the same time you actually root for him, like an accident in front of you that you can’t help but watch. This role is played by Jesse Eisenberg, who seems like a good fit for Allen’s sensibilities. And playing the tempting women we have Ellen Page (who is the center of the love triangle) and Penelope Cruz, who I’m happy to see again paired with the director after Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Roberto Benigni is the wacky character, and I’m curious to see him working in a project of this kind.
I’m a huge Woody Allen fan, and I’m happy to see him still following this trend. And with many successful films of this kind under his arm, more than love letters, we have a full book written with beautiful images, different muses and love of cinema.