There’s nothing like a late-career renaissance to remind audiences of an important filmmaker’s essential value. After a dry spell that seemed to last for decades, Woody Allen came roaring back in recent years with acclaimed movies like Match Point and last year’s Midnight in Paris. These films may not have matched the writer-director’s early masterworks (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters), but they at least earned widespread attention and respect. To Rome With Love is another flawed but very worthy effort from Allen, and one that recalls his heyday with memorable one-liners and some truly biting satire — though perennial targets like our celebrity-obsessed news media have only gotten easier to hit over time. To Rome With Love has too much going on for its own good, but an abundance of ideas doesn’t really harm the film’s four overlapping tales of romantic misadventure. Allen turns 77 this year, but he once again has something to say — even if it’s all just ruminations on the heroic foolishness of following one’s heart. What else is there, after all?
To Rome With Love opens today at the AMC Elmwood Palace Theater.