DVD Movie Review | All Roads Lead to Rome (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Freda Cooper 23.02.2016

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All Roads Lead to Rome (UK Rating: 12)

Once the darling of frothy, glamorous comedies aimed squarely at the female market, Sarah Jessica Parker's star has been on the wane. Recurring roles in a couple of TV series have replaced her regular Sex in the City appearances: after the Box Office success, but critical mauling, of the second movie, the makers seem to have quit while they are ahead, but now she returns in rom-com, All Roads Lead to Rome, released in America earlier this month but by-passing British cinemas and out on DVD as of Monday, 29th February.

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It's no great stretch for her - or, indeed, for anybody else involved. Parker plays Maggie, who arrives in Italy with her rebellious teenage daughter, Summer (Rose Day), in tow, looking to rebuild their relationship, as well as separating her from a wholly unsuitable boyfriend. She chooses to do this at the house where she spent the summer in her own younger years. Living in the villa next door is romantic blast from the past, Luca (Raoul Bova), together with his cantankerous mother, Carmen (Claudia Cardinale - yes, that Claudia Cardinale!). The elderly lady keeps trying to leave the house to get to Rome, so Summer has the bright idea of stealing Luca's car so that she and Carmen can get away: the teenager can get a flight back to her boyfriend and the old lady can do what she wants in Rome. Needless to say, Maggie and Luca soon follow in hot pursuit.

Turn on the TV at three in the afternoon anytime during the week, flick over to Channel 5, and save the cost of this DVD. Films like this are two-a-penny, and regular daytime TV fodder: a romantic comedy that's thin on both the rom and the com, and little more than moving wallpaper.

Its efforts to be a road movie see their tyres punctured early on because the characters are equally flat. Carmen prompts a flicker of interest, mainly because her reason for going to Rome is quite sweet, but Parker's Maggie is just irritating and embarrassing, while Summer is her mother's daughter times ten. Luca? He's easy on the eye, but that's about it, and any attempts at humour are both cringe-worthy and obvious. The whole thing is as bland as the blandest of mozzarella.

Even more frustrating is that there's a missed opportunity here. There are hints of some form of understanding between Summer and Carmen as they travel along, but it never develops into anything - just another illustration of how shallow this film is.

Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

While the Italian countryside and the Eternal City itself are more than appealing, it's the only thing that All Roads Lead to Rome has going for it. With its limp story and 2D characters, it's feeble, tedious to the point of yawn-inducing, and nothing more than mindless fluff. All roads should lead away from it.

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