Entries in To Rome With Love (6)
Dear Woody Allen,
I will always be there for you. Stop punishing me for my loyalty!
Back in 1984 my older brother drove me to see Broadway Danny Rose. I don't remember why. I'll readily admit that much of the movie went over my head but I laughed and laughed at the helium scene. To this day it's the only thing I remember about the movie which I never saw again. (There were always new and old Woody Allens to see so there was little time to rewatch!). My brother laughed, too. The next year I cajoled my entire family into seeing The Purple Rose of Cairo -- even though they kept grumbling about you stealing the Oscar from Star Wars -- because it was about the movies and because you made it.
It was a turning point. I was already heading towards cinephilia but that blissful melancholy miniature classic handed me a map to get there quicker; my destiny was sealed.
As a reward to you and a treat to myself I go to each and every Woody Allen movie in the theaters. For a good long time this ritual reaped enormous rewards and I rushed out on opening night. I learned to live with the occassional dud and I still rejoice when you have a success -- hello Midnight in Paris! Nice to know ya -- but as the balance began tipping towards the "uhhh" side of the quality scale, I got lazier about it. It's been quite some time since I rushed out on opening night. I still see them but the passion has gone out of the trip ... it's now something mundane, like a favor you'd automatically do for an old friend without ever considering saying "no." You've a lifetime pass.
And so it was when I hit To Rome With Love, your follow up to a resounding success that brought you your third Best Picture nomination! Talk about wasting your post-Midnight advantage...
Felix in Hollywood Hilarious Pauline Kael quote on A Place in the Sun
My New Plaid Pants wishes a happy birthday to the awesome Alessandro Nivola who never gets enough work or at least not the right kind of it.
Cartoon Brew an amusing very short animated film called Nest. Watch it.
Inside TV Matthew Weiner's favorite scene in this past season of Mad Men. Surprising cool choice.
Coming Soon Can't say I saw this coming but it looks like Edgar Wright may actually make Ant Man after all. I guess The Avengers will greenlight many an unlikely film. Though it's telling that nobody is talking about making a Scarlet Witch movie (sigh).
IndieWire "The League of Pan" huh? The Peter Pan mythos might become a TV series. I might be excited but IndieWire used a photo of the execrable Hook which killed my buzz. Abort. Abort. No Peter Pan projects is preferrable to that!
Playbill original cast members of The Sound of Music reminisce. Why? A new book is coming out.
Movie|Line Stephanie Zacharek (who often, to my recollection, understands the power of La Pfeiff) on People Like Us
Slant Kurt attends the press conference of To Rome With Love
Tor funny piece on Ryan Reynolds being the perfect choice for the reboot of Highlander
While post-Highlander Christopher Lambert seemed to actively choose movies that sucked, Ryan Reynolds simply can’t help it. He just slops into these parts, which is why theHighlander reboot is ideal for him. It’s an honest representation of exactly what he is in the culture: someone who will never die unless somebody does something terrible to him with a sword.
Exit Music. Fiona Apple's "Hot Knife". It's so weird and self-contained and auto-erotic and annoying and hot and perfect. I love Fiona so much. Why must it be so interminably long between her CDs?
It's been a long time since she dated Paul Thomas Anderson but I think it should be mandatory that some genius auteur scoop her up.
It's the new improved Red Carpet Convos. Faster, snappier, more focused... at least until the Oscars when it's impossible not to feel overwhelmed by gowns and veritably trampled by stilettos. For now, one event or theme at a time, all quick like. Today it's premiere time for Woody Allen. Welcome back Joanna from Pajiba.
Joanna: Okay, let's hit it!
Nathaniel: Today we're going To Rome With Love by way of Los Angeles and New York.
Joanna: Bad fashion from 'round the world!
Nathaniel: Right. I hate to start with such a downer waaah-waaaaah but I almost feel like this LA premiere is actual stills from a Woody Allen movie. He kinda loves the beiges. Since red carpets take place outdoors we'll call this Exteriors. Coming Soon!
Joanna: Not Alison's Getting Married?
Nathaniel: Marriage, Pill Style [pill being valiums]
Joanna: I love Pill and I think she looks swellegant from the waist up. But the length is so bridal meets plastic shower curtain from Target.
Nathaniel: With ballet slippers? I mean where is she going.
Joanna: If this were a wedding, then Penélope Cruz would be the super aggressive Mother of The Bride.
Nathaniel: Right. Love the Power Bitch Shellacked Hair though it always reminds me of that time when Laura Linney got all "bad girl" at the Oscars.
Joanna: Not loving the sparkly boob drape, but it's almost as if Penélope is narrowing her heavily lined eyes at me, daring me to question her "window treatment." If you know what I mean.
Nathaniel: This red carpet is depressing and it's for a sunny Rome-set comedy. Greta Gerwig will play the role of Pill's Flower (Dress) Girl. Or wait. are those grapes?
Joanna: Rome? Grapes? A theme!
Nathaniel: To Bacchus With Love
Joanna: I have to say, of all the pieces on this carpet, Elena Anaya's hot pink shoes are my FAVORITE.
Nathaniel: The Shoes She Lives In
Joanna: god I loved that movie.
Nathaniel: Let's change cities like Woody do. (He should direct a James Bond movie since they're always globe hopping)
Joanna: What is the delightful secret Woody is keeping? Is it that Greta is expecting? Or that her shoes are secretly the Phantom Of The Opera?
Nathaniel: Hee. But that's why we were at a wedding earlier. Shotgun. Woody, Greta, and Penélope are in NYC all of a sudden in this photo so out comes the black (shoes or dress or both)
Joanna: But Penelope is sticking to the grape theme.
Nathaniel: Days of Wine and Bardem-Cruzes -- I can't stop with the fake movie titles. Apologies.
I'd love to get complely drunk with her but I kinda hate this color on her. I'm not sure why. I think maybe it's because she looks so tan lately.
Joanna: What do we think of the Hamm Wesfeldt's? I love her dress and basically everything about her except for her Zellwegerian squint. And he, to me, is stubbly perfection.
Nathaniel: I love them. They strike me as a genuinely awesome happy couple, whether squinting or unshaven. And, not for nothing, I think they'd both be great in a Woody Allen movie. I hope they were handshaking and charming and bantering to sell that.
Joanna: <--- OH GOD GRETA'S WAIST FRINGE
Nathaniel: I knew I had to hit you with another Greta pic. It's just... what?!?
Joanna: Her waist looks like it's wearing false eyelashes. The whole thing is just so staggeringly unflattering. In every conceivable way.
Nathaniel: waistlashes. lol. what an image. I'm not sure how to end this Exteriors movie. Gerwig has robbed me of speech.
Joanna: Then take a tip from Woody and, just, shhhhhhhhhhhh.
Nathaniel: [rolling credits with some jaunty 30s tune]
1. You can expect that the locale will change.
2. You know the title sequence will bring back memories like an old friend or comfort food.
3. You'll see new faces mixed in with the repertory company.
4. You can place bets on how many and which younger women the protagonist will sleep with.
5. You're forced to admire the longevity because this all started in the 1960s!
6. You've learned to let go of qualitative expectations because it's a crap shoot...
7. ...Otherwise you know exactly what you're going to get.
Michael C. here. This week’s Burning Question came to me when my heart sank upon seeing the poster for Woody Allen’s latest.
Maybe it's the inexplicably prominent placement of Roberto Benigni. Maybe it's because the Committee to Blandify Movie Titles reduced the movie's name from the interesting The Bop Decameron to the acceptable Nero Fiddled to the yawn-inducing To Rome With Love. Or maybe it was just the beige Nancy Meyers-ness of the whole thing. Whatever the reason, my gut tells me this is a return to the lifeless, script-out-of-the-bottom-drawer rehashes that have been the rule and not the exception for Woody’s output over the last decade.
Of course this would all be a lot less distressing if I didn’t know there was no way I would miss seeing it. Why? Because I, like many others, have issued Mr. Allen a lifetime pass out of gratitude for Annie Hall and Manhattan and a dozen other titles that constitute a large chunk of the foundation of my love of movies. Therefore I will keep setting myself up for disappointment, like Charlie Brown forever returning to kick that football.
Would it not make more sense to ignore the completist in me that insists I see every title Woody releases even when it's an obvious gutterball? Does anyone really deserve a lifetime pass?