When in Rome Reviews
Formulaic, contrived and verbally dull, When In Rome's slapstick gags fizzle and misfire into all kind of inappropriate directions. The weak script reflects the jumbled brainstorming growing cringingly worse with each act.
Chronically disillusioned with the sheer concept of romance, an ambitious and bright young Guggenheim curator Beth (Kristen Bell) throws her self into the throngs of her new exhibition entitled PAIN.
Under the sneeringly watchful eye of her demanding taskmaster boss Celeste (Angelica Huston), Beth is expected to deliver nothing less than the season's blockbuster exhibition within next seven days.
Beth is blind-sided, however when her never quiet phone rings and her younger sister Joan (Alexis Daiena) invites Beth to her whirl-wind impromptu wedding due to take place a mere 48 hours later in Rome, Italy.
Dropping everything maid-of-honor Beth dutifully flies to Rome arriving just moments to spare. Struggling clumsily through the lavish and grand proceedings, she suffers from language barriers and cell phone reception withdrawals until best-man and ex footballer-turned-reporter Nick (Josh Duhamel) comes to her aid.
Flirty and feeling a pang of the warm fuzzy love-in-the-air, Beth and Nick look to be well on the way to curing Beth's romantic aversion. However, when a miscommunication leaves Beth vindicated, tippys and paddling in the famous magical "fountain of love" she decides to "save others" from their doomed love wishes and fishes five wishing coins from the fountain daring cupid to stop her.
Returning to New York, Beth continues on with her normal life. However, when she inexplicably receives the unwanted and ridiculous affections of a quartet of bizarre suitors, she comes to realise the significance of the coins and that their owners are now under a spell, desperately smitten, bewitched and obsessed with obtaining her heart.
Pursued in the most disconcerting borderline stalkerish manor, Beth's gaggle of Mr. Wrongs include a goofy and exceptionally creepy street magician Lance (Jon Heder), a preening narcissistic Zoolander-esque male model Gale (Dax Shepard) a moonstruck artist who simply can't paint feet Antonio (Will Arnett) and a 65 year old smallgoods "encased meat" mogul Al (Danny DeVito).
Beth quickly sees her error of judgment, and whilst fleeing all the Mr Wrongs she begins to fret about Mr Right. Convinced the fifth and final chip is Nick's, Beth is despaired by the idea that his affections are simply his part of the love charm. Is Nick really under her spell? Or is he the real thing?
The remarkable coincidence that all of the men seem to be residents of New York adds to the farfetched senselessness. The indestructible genre employs a decidedly Mid-Summer Nights Dream feel drawing modern parallels from the 500 year old Shakespearian story of the misuse of love's elixir. Certainly a number of its characters make asses of themselves.
Many cameos by big-ticket names were squandered by the ridiculousness of the situations. However, Bell and Duhamel had a nice onscreen chemistry and thankfully made this film a little more bearable than other recent similarly utlra-cliched titles The Proposal, New Town and Leap Year.
The Verdict: The essence of fluffy feel-good rom-com was within reach however the writers simply put it on too high of a shelf for this movie and sadly it fall to the ground with a resounding thud.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 30/04/2010
And, why? Why asking Anjelica Huston re-doing the whole Streep's Miranda Priestly thing here again?!!