When in Rome (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byCassam Looch23/06/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Predictably drab high concept romantic comedy which manages to waste a decent idea, underutilise a great cast and rush to an unsatisfactory finish, all thanks to a terrible script.

What’s it all about?
Guggenheim curator Beth (Kristen Bell) is forced to rush off to Rome for her sister’s impromptu wedding. There she thinks she meets the perfect man, Nick (Josh Duhamel), but when Beth sees him with another woman she loses faith in the concept of love once more. Upset and drunk, she takes five coins from the fountain of love and throws herself back into her work, thinking nothing of it. However, legend dictates that those who threw the coins into the fountain will instantly be under the spell of the person who took them out and so begins a desperate chase by desperate men to find Beth.

The disparate characters (Danny DeVito, Jon Heder, Will Arnett and Dax Shepard) are joined by Nick, who may or may not be one of the people who threw something into the fountain. Will Beth be able to return the coins and find true love?

The Good
There is no doubting that Kristen Bell is a likable on-screen presence. Her character Beth might be hamstrung by some of the most cliche-ridden lines about love ever written (think sub-Hallmark Valentine’s cards) yet she still manages to come away with some credit. Danny DeVito is also inherently funny, something that cannot be said of his co-stars.

The Bad
Josh Duhamel displays no charisma whatsoever. For some reason his character spends the whole time being a clumsy oaf, which is supposed to be hilarious. No time or effort is given to making us care about him, and his friends are even worse. Will Arnett and Jon Heder are wasted in inconsequential roles whereas Dax Shepard is an appalling choice for the other lovesick fool. The finale, which has Beth spewing out excruciating opinions about love and telling everyone the true message of the film, is a real low.

The first act also decides to go down the ‘amusing foreigners’ route for easy laughs, with every Italian stereotype thrown into a twenty minute wedding sequence.

Worth seeing?
Poorly executed and painfully unfunny in places, When in Rome smacks of a film rushed into production on the back of a decent idea and not bad cast, only to come unstuck thanks to lazy direction and a terrible script.

Film Trailer

When in Rome (PG)
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Content updated: 23/03/2019 06:10

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