The great discovery of this Casanova is Hallstrom's recovered capacity for play.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Lasse Hallstrom's tale of an uncomplicated lover is a delightful respite from awards-season seriousness.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Randy flirtations and elaborate masquerades to evade the sanctimonious powers-that-be are the cornerstone of this exuberant film.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The movie Casanova, starring Heath Ledger, not only fetters the randy Venetian in political correctness, it condemns him to dwell inside the modern equivalent of a bad Shakespeare play.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
The movie treats trysting as comedy and yet is stingy with the laughs. An action-packed life is now the chaste story of a rake whose romantic reformation is supposed to make us swoon. Must love dog? No thanks.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
The clumsy staging might not grate so much if the tone weren't so self-congratulatory.
Jessica Winter - Village Voice
A period romp that tries too hard.
Jami Bernard - New York Daily News
Despite its oh-so deviant title character, Casanova is a harmless bon-bon, a breezy period farce that mimics lesser Shakespeare and a look that recalls Amadeus or Shakespeare in Love.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Casanova relies heavily on charm, and it's not a case of misplaced confidence. The legendary rogue's saga, at least in this fresh incarnation, is indeed a charmer.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
There's less sexiness in the awful Casanova than in the downbeat, doomed gay love story featuring Ledger in Brokeback Mountain.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
I admit that the picture is handsomely designed in gold and pale blue, but none of the tumult and pomp have any dramatic, comic, or erotic effect whatsoever.
David Denby - New Yorker
Casanova was such a genuinely fascinating person, so tireless, seductive, brilliant, revolutionary and daring, that Hallstrom's Casanova hardly does him justice.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Hallstrom gives us a genial interpretation and a supremely good-humored film.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
One would expect Casanova, a movie about the storied loverboy of 18th-century Venice, to be wicked, ribald fun. One would be wrong.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The movie sidesteps modern-day issues of political correctness raised by a story about a rogue who shamelessly uses women for his own amusement. This is all done for our amusement.
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A ribald, witty costume comedy filled with delightful performances and wily plot turns, this is the sort of film that makes you wonder why more films like this aren't made.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Casanova is just plain ordinary.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Overall, Casanova is silly but amusing.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
A handsome chunk of widescreen entertainment that's as nimble as its rakish hero.
Derek Elley - Variety
Don't confuse the 18th-century Venetian setting in Casanova with sophistication.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
The sticky sweet stuff in the middle traps history's greatest lover and slows the whole affair to a crawl.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The movie contains so little sexual content, it seems pre-edited for viewing on airplanes, or perhaps balloon rides like the fake one taken high above Venice by stars Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
A forgettable movie but a memorable celluloid poster for Venice.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Casanova works because it gives in to its nuttier impulses instead of fighting them. It's an absurdly joyous bit of fluff.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
It's worth noting that producing a farce in a way that's funny is a lost art, and director Lasse Hallstrom hasn't found it.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
At last, a stylish and sexy comedy for grownups.
Ray Bennett - Hollywood Reporter
The whimsical plot, involving Casanova's seduction of a cross-dressing feminist, isn't helped by director Lasse Hallstrom's leaden hand.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
In the exhilarating Casanova, giddy shenanigans effectively set off the dangerous, darker impulses of human nature.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
Gets funny once it enters farce mode. Nothing special by the cast, including Ledger.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Derek Adams - Time Out New York
One of those smart pictures that transcends genres, a costume romance inspired by Restoration comedy, French farce and vaudevillian slapstick.
Rex Roberts - Film Journal International
There's no edge in Ledger's performance, only a lot of cutesy moments.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Casanova is just a farce, true, but there's a smugness to the proceedings that leaves a bad aftertaste.
Peter T. Chattaway - Christianity Today
While not quite as irresistibly seductive as its title character, Casanova is the perfect cinematic one-night stand: charming, romantic and awfully easy on the eyes.
Betsy Bozdech - Hollywood.com
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
even I - a product of the American public school system - am able to recognize that much of this film is complete bollix
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
A horndog who deserves a swift kick where the Venetian sun don't shine.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Call it an arthouse guilty pleasure if you like, but Casanova is a visually stunning, slyly amusing, and sweetly enjoyable little period-piece of a comedy.
Scott Weinberg - DVDTalk.com
Tom Jones or Shakespeare in Love it's not; pleasing fizz it is.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
- Empire Magazine
- Future Movies UK
- Sydney Morning Herald
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Surprisingly for a movie about a legendary womaniser there's hardly any sex in it, let alone any nudity. This is a criminal oversight from which the film never really recovers.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The combination of love, lust, music and Venice are the compelling ingredients of Casanova, a swashbuckling tale about matters of the heart and the masks we wear.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
- Time Out
Even if Heath Ledger were the only thing worth seeing in this movie, the movie would be well worth seeing. Happily, there are many other things to recommend the picture.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Those who grew up with Three's Company reruns will recognize the story
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Hallstrom reduces history's most notorious cad to a plot device, forced to jump through so many narrative hoops it's impossible to keep up -- and even harder to care.
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
Forsooth. Thou art better of at another show.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
... plunders from Shakespeare, panders to feminism and offers puns and one-liners as if the setting were a vaudeville stage, not 1753 Venice.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
The whole point is a film that's stylish, witty and romantic -- three things that Casanova most definitely is.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
[A] frantic farce that shows off [Ledger's] comic charms to glorious effect.... he's got Casanova's gift of seduction, no question.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Where's the passion? Where's the heat? Where's the sex?
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
a tongue-in-cheek sex romp that barely hides its Mel Brooks-inspired puns under powdered wigs.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
Enlivened by a few moments of boudoir slapstick that resemble a Benny Hill skit as produced by Merchant Ivory.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
In the hands of this fine ensemble cast, the ordinary period piece is turned into a light and breezy bit of entertainment with clever dialog, action, and a touch of romance.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Hallstrom's latest is fine but unambitious, content with what it is -- an arthouse trifle for the masses.
Marrit Ingman - Austin Chronicle
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Baltimore Sun
Casanova is such a sheer delight that every fault gets swept away by the stubborn glee of it all.
David Cornelius - eFilmCritic.com
...a luscious three-ring circus, with comic twists among the gorgeous Venice locations, leading up to a grand finale...
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
If you want history, visit a library. See Casanova for the visual feast.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
The irony of [Sienna] Miller co-starring in a film about the world's most notorious lothario aside, there's not much to love about Casanova.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
Ledger, if less memorable than Donald Sutherland in Fellini's Casanova or Mastroianni's old rake in La Nuit de Varennes, is a virile, enjoyable addition to the Casanovan collection.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
It's watchable and is occasionally entertaining, but there's very much a split personality here.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Aside from having little to say, the new edition of Casanova tries so hard to serve a crowd-pleasing buffet that it turns into a scattershot series of unrewarding nibbles.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Consider how marvelous Casanova could've been had it committed not just to the look and sound of the 18th century but to the ways people really talked, thought and behaved.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The film, written by committee, is a pastiche of Casanova's life and times more unreliable than the real fellow's notoriously self-serving memoirs.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Lasse Hallstrom's costume comedy Casanova is pretty flat. In fact, it's leaking air all over the place.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Casanova's tale has been told many times before, but seldom with such light-hearted flair and puckish humor.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Casanova finds [director] Hallstrom more inspired, or at least lively and engaged, than he has been in years, and he's in the company of the actor of the moment.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
At times ridiculous, at others touching, it's an entertaining cinematic frolic that both men and women can enjoy.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
The whole thing feels too mindlessly cheerful, far too airy to be remembered.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Casanova leaves us with the beautiful-but-bland Miller and the emasculated Ledger, who, frankly, was more manly and more magnetic making out with Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Pleasantly undistinguished, this movie rests on a handful of crowd-pleasing plot points about true love, and on a few strong supporting turns: Oliver Platt, who plays an obese Genoan fop, has now saved two movies in as many months.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
What's meant to evoke Shakespeare in Love ends up more often evoking Saved by the Bell.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Although Casanova is far from a stinker, I can't join in the chorus of praise for what is essentially a coy farce replete with arch performances and even archer dialogue.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Casanova is a forgettable, dopey enterprise, with what can already be declared the most wasted R rating of the year.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
This is easily the liveliest Hallstrom has been in almost a decade.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A standard period romance, the movie spends all of five unconvincing minutes on the womanizing side of the man. If you walked in late, you might wonder if you're in the right theater.
Paul Doro - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Lasse Hallstrom, whose previous movies, such as Chocolat, have not shown a light touch, has one here, making the movie witty and romantic.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Delightfully sophisticated and just plain fun.
Diana Saenger - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
It tries to be a mildly post-modern version of a very traditional door-slamming farce, with a headache-inducing mish-mash of false identities and near-misses, all of which seem more of a distraction than an entertainment.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
In "Casanova," director Lasse Hallstrom wants us to suspend fact for fiction in order to enjoy a light-hearted sexual romp through 17th century Venice.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
Is it Oscar bait? Not in the least. But it's a great date flick and perfect for a time full of all those 'serious' films.
(CNN.com) Paul Clinton - CNN.com
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
Had it not been full of sex jokes, the plot would have been the kind of those after school specials or a straight to video kiddie flick starring Hilary Duff or the Olsen twins. This is almost...wait a second, it IS Disney, and not very good Disney at tha
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Might have been called American Pie 4: Vacation in Venice.
Jamie Gillies - Apollo Guide
This is the very definition of an entertaining period piece romp. It's a romp, I tell ya!
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
With a vacuum in the lead, uninspired direction, mediocre sword fights, and about as much sexual content as an episode of "The King of Queens," if you feel you have to check this one out, await its DVD release.
Brandon Judell - New York Theatre Wire
lively, lusty and eye-appealing... has practically everything a costume picture needs: bustiers, courtly dances, masquerades, toppled tea sets -- and a pig in a ruff.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Pretty as the picture is, only Platt's engaging performance keeps it from fading out.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
Ledger is no Casanova, and the movie is not what it should be, but once that is accepted, the movie can be appreciated for the jolly, lightweight thing it is.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Had the filmmakers aspired to match Ledger's sensibility, Casanova might have been something more than a frothy, forgettable diversion; as is, many should enjoy its carefully calculated manipulations.
David Kronke - Los Angeles Daily News
It's a breezy fling that showcases the lighter side of Ledger.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
Ledger and Miller fail to supply the fire: He's only adequate and Miller is so vapid she hardly needs taming.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Sure, it is full of empty calories, but oh are they tasty.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
For those looking for a lighthearted romp, this handsome Casanova proves pretty seductive.
- E! Online
Dave White - Movies.com
...silly...an almost total waste of talent and money. The color and settings are beautiful and sumptuous... (but) this is brain candy, a trifle...entirely without substance.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
Ledger has more chemistry with his co-star and object of affection in Brokeback Mountain than in this movie
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
James Verniere - Boston Herald
a giddy, good-natured romp with lust on its mind and romance in its heart.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
surprisingly avoids anything that resembles a trite, tiresome, period-piece romance
Blake French - Filmcritic.com
A farce is supposed to be witty, fun and funny. Except for some Oliver Platt outbursts in a supporting role, this farce falls flat.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
As the infamous womanizer, Heath Ledger stars in what seems like a French farce.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
By the time they make double entendres about a rich man being "well endowed" (get it?), the film is trying way too hard, like the kid at the dinner table who just learned dirty words and wants the adults to laugh.
Fred Topel - About.com
A romantic comedy that only elicits a few sporadic chuckles; we like Lasse Hallstrom's dramas much better.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
A modern romantic comedy movie transplanted to 18th Century Venice...Hallstrom's fleet-footed romp is impossible to take seriously, but that's largely the point.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
- Boston Phoenix
Casanova takes the story of history's greatest self-professed lover (not counting Wilt Chamberlain) and drains it of all sexuality or sensuality.
Dan Fienberg - Zap2it.com
Has the best quote of the year: 'Well, she's hardly a novice!'
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Hallstrom crosses the line from irreverence into bigotry by using Pucci as an instrument to attack the Catholic church.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Few pictures in recent memory have worked as laboriously as Lasse Hallstrom's new romantic farce to be a featherweight lark.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
Casanova is a role that should be performed with fire and charm (Johnny Depp would be a bowl of candy here). All Ledger can muster is a slight wink and a grimace.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
Raucously ribald, lushly romantic romp, aimed at the same audience who enjoyed the wicked wit of "Shakespeare In Love"
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
I have long praised Hallstrom's ability to bring life to material that should have been dead on the screen, but here it's the opposite. He has never directed rapid-fire door-slamming, disguise-switching comedy before; and it turns out he can't.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
It requires imagination of a certain kind to transform the tale of the legendary lover Casanova into a bland romantic comedy.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
In its sheer desire to entertain, the film takes whimsy to levels normally outlawed by the Geneva Convention.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
This delightful, spirited romp is like a comical Shakespearean rewrite of the Zorro legend...if Zorro's sword were more, er, symbolic.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Unfortunately, the goofiness never quite finds its groove.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
What it gets instead is the same dispassionate 'professionalism' that has made Hallstrom a steady fixture in a Hollywood that could do with an infusion of Casanova's own virile lifeblood.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
Like an 18th century Wedding Crashers.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Never more than a trifle and a lifeless trifle at that.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
A good-looking picture that should especially satisfy upper-middlebrow adult audiences--a high-toned crowd-pleaser, if you will.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Full of weak whimsy, woefully unsuccessful tries at humor and awkwardness from first scene to last, Casanova must have been a disaster from the script stage, and Hallstrom's unsteady decisions only speed up the free fall.
Jordan Reed - Boxoffice Magazine
Sloppy and corny, and rather enjoyable if you like this kind of thing.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
A delightfully silly romp.
Phil Hall - Film Threat
Nothing short of a complete stylistic and thematic renovation would improve Hallstrom's tediously conventional treacle.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Casanova will seduce comedy-hungry audiences who need only be receptive to its handsome, farcical charms.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
A shrivelled little romantic comedy.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
In sensibility and style, this version recalls the decadent fun of Dangerous Liaisons, vivid spirit of Shakespeare in Love, and frivolous camp of Lester's Musketeers films
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com