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To Rome with Love (2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.

  • In Rome, the America tourist Hayley meets the local lawyer Michelangelo on the street and soon they fall in love with each other. Hayley's parents, the psychiatrist Phyllis and the retired music producer Jerry, travel to Rome to meet Michelangelo and his parents. When Jerry listens to Michelangelo's father Giancarlo singing opera in the shower, he is convinced that he is a talented opera singer. But there is a problem: Giancarlo can only sing in the shower. The couple Antonio and Milly travel to Rome to meet Antonio's relatives that belong to the high society. Milly goes to the hairdresser while Antonio waits for her in the room. Milly gets lost in Rome and the prostitute Anna mistakenly goes to Antonio's room. Out of the blue, his relatives arrive in the room and they believe Anna is Antonio's wife. Meanwhile the shy Milly meets her favorite actor Luca Salta (Antonio Albanese) and goes to his hotel room "to discuss about movies". One day, the middle-class clerk Leopoldo becomes a celebrity and is hunted by the paparazzo. A couple of days later, he is forgotten by the media. The American architect John travels to Rome with his wife and feels nostalgic since he lived in the city thirty years ago when he was a student. He meets the student of architecture Jack, who lives on the same street that John had lived, and he invited to drink a coffee at his house. Jack lives with his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) that invites her best friend Monica to stay with them in their house. But soon Jack has a crush on Monica.

  • Four unrelated but intercut stories are presented, each incorporating the mysticism of the Eternal City. In story 1, Hayley, a New Yorker, is vacationing in Rome for the summer. She meets native Roman, Michelangelo, a leftist lawyer, the two who fall in love and plan to get married at the end of the summer. Her parents, Jerry and Phyllis, a retired avant garde opera director and a therapist respectively, fly into Rome to meet Michelangelo and his family. Jerry hates the thought of Michelangelo's leftist ideals and goes into meeting him and his family with some disdain. However, Jerry, who equates retirement with death (according to therapist Phyllis), sees his new in-laws differently not so much when he meets Michelangelo's undertaker father, Giancarlo, but hears Giancarlo sing, he a great operatic tenor according to Jerry. However, Giancarlo, who has always quietly dreamed of singing professionally, has a singing crutch which Jerry will have to incorporate in any professional opportunity he provides for Giancarlo. In story 2, Antonio and Milly, innocent newlyweds from the provinces, have just arrived in the city for the first time to meet Antonio's influential relatives who have offered him a job. Out of circumstance, Milly gets lost in Rome on her own - she eventually stumbling onto a movie set where she meets her idol Luca Salta - leading to her missing the important lunch meeting with Antonio's relatives. So Antonio ends up enlisting the aid of Anna, a seductive prostitute, to pose as Milly in front of his relatives. Antonio and Milly's respective doings that day affect the marriage and their future. In story 3, John Foy, an American architect now most famous for designing shopping centers, is visiting Rome for the first time in thirty years, the city where he lived as a student. As he leaves his wife Carol and their friends to act the tourists, John decides to visit his old haunts, where he meets Jack, literally him thirty years ago: a young American architecture student who lives in John's old apartment building. Jack and his girlfriend Sally, also a student, are at the last minute expecting a visit from Sally's best friend, Monica, an actress who needs time to commiserate over a recent break-up. As the sexual tension builds between Jack and Monica, John acts as their spirit guide, he who not only predicted issues because of Monica's visit, but whose objective advice is more often than not ignored by all the parties involved. And in story 4, Leopoldo leads an undistinguished life as husband and father, with the highlight of his and his male coworkers' day being to watch their boss' seductive secretary Serafina parade around the office. Without explanation, Leopoldo's life is turned upside down as he is thrust into fame and celebrity, where he is constantly followed by paparazzo and reporters, who want to document his every move. Despite some perks, he largely sees this celebrity as an imposition on what was his quiet life. He may view it differently if it all goes away.

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  • In Woody Allen's ensemble comedy To Rome With Love, various lives intersect in the Italian city. The characters include architect John (Alec Baldwin), a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) in love with his girlfriend's best friend, an opera director (Woody Allen) who finds an undiscovered talent in an unexpected place, and Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni), who inadvertently becomes one of the most famous people in Rome.

  • Set in the romantic city of Rome. The intertwining stories of a worker who wakes up to find himself a celebrity, an architect who takes a trip back to the street he lived on as a student, a young couple on their honeymoon, and a frustrated opera director who has a talent for discovering talented singers.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • To Rome with Love follows four different concurrent but unrelated plotlines taking place in the Eternal City.

    American tourist Hayley falls in love and becomes engaged to Italian pro bono lawyer Michelangelo while spending a summer in Rome. Her parents, Jerry and Phyllis, fly to Italy to meet her fiancé and his parents. Jerry happens to hear Giancarlos (Michelangelo's father) beautiful operatic voice while the latter sings in the shower. As a former admittedly avant-garde and critically reviled opera director, Jerry feels inspired to bring Giancarlos gift to the public. Although Giancarlo protests that he sings for himself and doesnt want to go professional, Jerry pushes the issue until Giancarlo agrees to audition in front of a room of opera bigwigs. Outside the safety of his shower, Giancarlos confidence abandons him. He makes faces and he is humiliated. Michelangelo, who attended the audition too, accuses Jerry of using his father to achieve some level of fame for himself. It occurs to Jerry that Giancarlo, like most people, sings the most confidently when he has some measure of privacy. In Giancarlos case, he performs best in his shower. Giancarlo, naked but for a towel, premieres at the Teatro dellOpera di Roma. Jerry has built him a shower onstage, and Giancarlo sings as he washes. The opera attendees love his strange performance, so Jerry and Giancarlo decide to stage Pagliacci, shower and all. Again, Giancarlos rich voice mesmerizes the crowd, and he receives rave reviews though Jerry's direction is once again utterly reviled, a fact he is not aware of since he doesn't understand Italian. Giancarlo decides to retire from opera singing, because he prefers working as a mortician and spending time with his family though he appreciates being given the chance to live his dream of performing Pagliacci.

    Newlyweds Antonio and Milly move from their rustic hometown to Rome because Antonios posh uncles have offered him a job in their familys business. The couple check into their hotel, and Milly decides to pop down to the salon to fix her hair. When the concierge informs her that theres no available appointments, Milly decides to go to a nearby salon but becomes hopelessly lost. When she attempts to answer a call from Antonio, she accidentally drops her phone through the slats of a sewer grate. Defeated, Milly eventually sits down on the edge of a fountain. When she looks up she sees one of her favorite actresses, Pia Fusari, about to shoot a scene. Pia invites Milly to watch her film, and Milly becomes even more excited when she learns her celebrity crush Luca Salta is also in the film. After the scene wraps, Pia introduces Milly to Luca, who invites Milly out to lunch with him.

    Meanwhile, Antonio is back at their hotel. Hes desperate to find Milly, because his relatives will soon arrive to take them out to lunch. Someone knocks at the door, and, thinking that Milly has returned, he rushes to answer it in his underwear. Anna, a prostitute, bursts into his room. She has mistaken him for a client, and she refuses to leave until they have sex. Anna wrestles Antonio to the bed, but his relatives interrupt them before anything untoward happens. His uncles mistake Anna for Milly, and when it becomes too complicated to explain the truth, Antonio goes along with the ruse. He convinces Anna to pretend shes Milly for the afternoon. Eventually the group dines at the same restaurant that Luca takes Milly. Antonio seethes with jealousy as Luca flirts with Milly. Lastly, Antonios uncles and aunts take him to a fancy party so he can meet important Italian dignitaries. Antonio has nothing in common with the men his uncles introduce him to; coincidentally, most of the male guests are Annas clients. Anna and Antonio go for a walk in the garden, and Antonio talks about how pure and good Milly is. When Anna finds out he was a virgin before he met Milly, she seduces him in the bushes.

    Luca brings Milly to his hotel room. He also tries to seduce her. Luca complements Milly's charm, but she doesnt know if she can cheat on Antonio. She goes into the bathroom to get some perspective, and she ultimately decides to have sex with Luca. As Milly strips, a man with a gun jumps out of the shower. He takes Milly into the bedroom and demands that she and Luca give him their money and their jewelry. Suddenly, Lucas wife and her private investigator begin banging on the hotel rooms door. Mrs. Salta wants photographic proof of her husbands indiscretions, and the prospect of divorce frightens Luca more than the burglar. Milly and the burglar climb into bed and fool Mrs. Salta into believing the hotel room is theirs while Luca hides in the bathroom. Once his wife has left, Luca runs off, and the burglar begins flirting with Milly. She has sex with him instead. When she returns to the hotel room, she and Antonio decide to return to their rustic hometown. Their love life has been reinvigorated.

    Leopoldo lives a mundane life with his wife and two children. The best part of his day is watching his bosss beautiful secretary Serafina walk around the office. Inexplicably, he wakes up one morning to discover that he has become a national celebrity. Paparazzi document his every movement. Reporters ask him what hes had for breakfast, if he wears boxers or briefs, whether he thinks it will rain. Leopoldo even becomes a manager at his company, and Serafina sleeps with him. He begins dating models and attending fancy film premieres. The constant attention wears on him, though. One day, in the middle of interviewing Leopoldo, the paparazzi spot a man who looks more interesting, and they abandon Leopoldo. At first, Leopoldo welcomes the return to his old life. But one afternoon he breaks down when no one asks for his autograph. Leopoldo has learned that life can be monotonous and wearying whether one is a celebrity or a normal man. Still, its much better to be a weary celebrity than it is to be a weary regular man.

    John, a well-known architect, and his wife are visiting Rome with friends. John lived there some thirty years ago, and hed rather check out his old haunts than go sightseeing with the others. John meets Jack, an American architecture student, while hes looking for his old apartment building. Jack happens to live there and invites John up to the apartment he shares with his girlfriend Sally. Sally tells Jack that she invited her best friend Monica to stay with them while she recovers from a rough breakup. According to Sally, Monica gives off a sexual vibe that drives men crazy. John predicts Monica will bring trouble, but Jack cant imagine why he would be attracted to his girlfriends best friend. Monica arrives, and one of her first conversations with Jack is about her intense sexual relationship with a lingerie model. Because Sally has classes, she often asks Jack to show Monica around Rome. Monica impresses Jack with her knowledge of literature and art. Meanwhile, John keeps telling Jack that Monica will lead him to trouble and criticizes her pseudo-intellectual facade (these interjections always appear surrealistic, implying that John is somehow Jack's conscience personified).

    Even though John cautions Jack against cheating with Monica, he cannot help but succumb to her charms. Sally sets Monica up with one of their friends, and Jack is jealous of their relationship. One night he and Monica decide to cook dinner for Sally and her boyfriend. They flirt more and more until Jack summons the courage to kiss Monica. She returns his passion, and they go down to his car to have sex. The next morning, they decide Jack should wait until Sally finishes her midterms for Jack to break up with her. The trio go out for lunch after Sallys finals, and when theyre alone Jack tells Monica he plans to dump her that night. They make plans to travel to Greece and Sicily together. Suddenly, Monica, an actress, receives a phone call from her agent. She can barely contain her excitement as she tells Jack that shes been offered a role in a Hollywood blockbuster. She will film in Los Angeles and Tokyo for the next four months. At the drop of a hat, Monica becomes completely focused on preparing for the role. She forgets about traveling with Jack, and he realizes how shallow she is. John and Jack walk back to the Roman street corner where they met and part ways forever.

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