Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

When in Rome

When in Rome
Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard

Rated: PG-13 for some suggestive content
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 29, 2010 Released by: Touchstone Pictures

This cute, cliched romantic comedy has as its tagline - "Did you ever wish for the impossible?" A cursed New York City yuppie happens to be unlucky in love.

When in Rome has Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel as its attractive leads and centers on Bell's busy professional Beth off to Rome to attend her sister's wedding.

Mark Steven Johnson produces and directs what is a bit contrived and deceptive in a way from Beth's standpoint after grabbing some coins from the fountain of love. Thus, to fit the constraints of the storyline the men who put them there have to return stateside to swoon her as well as Duhamel's handsome, flirty Nick who showed his gift of translating in an early scene.

Danny DeVito is the "sausage king", Jon Heder's Lance is a magician, Will Arnett's Antonio is an artist and Dax Shepherd (Bell's off-screen beau) is the scene-stealing model Gale. The by-the-numbers filmmaking actually gives short shrift to the crucial romance of the film, but many will like what Bell (Couples Retreat) and Duhamel (Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!) have on-screen.

Adorable, but more vacuous if retrospect, a fairly well-paced When in Rome gives Bell a chance to showcase some physical comedy as Beth's pessimism for happily ever after is challenged. The formula may be too time-worn for some, especially those accompanying wives and girlfriends, but the impulsiveness from a whirlwind excursion proves to be risible to the extend that the dialogue and slapstick can hold together its limitations.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
When in Rome  C+      C   C   D+      C+   C+   C 

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