Review: Sarah Jessica Parker stars in a predictable ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’
Sarah Jessica Parker pulls an “Under the Tuscan Sun,” with a twist, in the minor romantic dramedy “All Roads Lead to Rome,” directed by Ella Lemhagen. Appropriately, her love interest is played by Raoul Bova, who romanced Diane Lane under the Tuscan sun as well.
Harried New York mom Maggie (Parker) heads for a taste of la vita bella with her bratty teen daughter Summer (Rosie Day) in tow, possibly as a strategy to avoid Summer’s arrest — the teen’s dirtbag boyfriend wants her to take the fall for his pot trafficking, since she’ll be charged only as a juvenile. At their villa, Maggie runs into old flame Luca, and it’s not long before Summer steals a Euro coupe and hits the road with Luca’s elderly, possibly senile, mother in tow, looking to hitch a ride to Rome.
Maggie and Luca give chase, in a duel of dual road movies. The teen crime element differentiates the film from other fare of this kind, but the tone is wildly inconsistent, particularly with plucky, lighthearted music accompaniment scoring what is essentially a teen crime spree.
The humor is dated, and while scenes in Italian without subtitles are confusing, it isn’t difficult to anticipate the turns of story from miles away. The mother-daughter relationship is so strained and uncomfortable that you welcome their time apart, and dread the reunion, the tension between them achieving a sense of realism that’s just too real for this Roman romp.
‘All Roads Lead to Rome’
MPAA rating: PG-13, for some drug material, language and suggestive content
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood.
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