Sunday, July 29, 2012
To Rome with Love
I went to see Woody Allen's To Rome with Love for the pictures. I wanted to see if I could recognize where they were. I would sit eating my popcorn and think "This is the Piazza del Popolo, and in that church there are Caravaggios. And now they are actually on one of those rooftop patios that are just below the Pincio. I'm jealous. And this is the lake in the Giardino Borghese." It is photographed with much love. Only the Pantheon is missing. In fact he under-represents all of the Roman stuff. Perhaps this is a personal bias.
The plot is very chaotic. Roberto Benigni becomes suddenly a celebrity and then suddenly not. His chauffeur says celebrity is better. I am doubtful. There are endless jokes about people asking directions. They are in the Piazza Venezia and wish to know how to find the Fontana di Trevi. The intended lesson is that you can't get there from here.
Penélope Cruz is channeling Sophia Loren as a prostitute and doing a fine job of it.
The Woody Allen character is a retired opera producer. He finds that his host, an undertaker by profession, sings in the shower and has a wonderful voice. Woody tries to get him work singing, but he can only sing in the shower. Does Eurotrash include people singing in the shower? I wonder. When it came time for Pagliacci to stab someone, he would walk over to the shower and get stabbed.
The undertaker is played by Fabio Armiliato, an actual opera singer. He's even sung at the Met. I can't help wondering if Fabio Armiliato is any relation to Marco Armiliato, the conductor.
I once told an Italian woman I knew who had married an American and moved here, "You know, they are having more fun."