Monday, July 19, 2010


Quickie synopsis: When recently dumped Beth (Kristen Bell) finds out her younger sister is getting married, she travels to Rome to stand as a bridesmaid. After a series of mishaps during the reception, and after facing her own failings with love, Beth finds herself wading in a fountain, bottle of liquor in hand. Ticked off and a tad drunk, she swipes five coins from the fountain, each coming from men who wished for love. By taking the coins, she unknowingly ignites a powerful curse: the men who tossed the coins will now fall crazy in love with the person who took them--with Beth! Whether she returns their feelings or not...

Despite the lackluster reviews and despite that inner voice telling me not to, I snuggled up on the couch last weekend to watch WHEN IN ROME. Within the first ten minutes, I knew I could've spent my $4.99 more wisely.

The movie starts off with a series of bad, overdone clichés, including Beth badmouthing someone only to find out they're standing right behind her--"He's standing right behind me, isn't he?" Then, there are the classic romantic comedy derivatives--running into her ex-fiancé when she has spinach stuck to her teeth, an artsy guy friend who is also gay, the mortification of finding out her YOUNGER sister is getting hitched before she is, and her wedding toast getting accidently translated into some humorous, but scandalous, Italian. None of the conflicts within the plot were original, nor were they substantial enough to be believable. For instance, Beth has a big event coming up at work that requires her to stay in touch with her office while in Rome. Naturally, her cell coverage is non-existent, which results in her assistant making a big, idiotic blunder that almost costs Beth her job. Apparently, there are no landlines??? I also found myself frustrated a couple times because of stupid misunderstandings that take far too long to clear up.

WHEN IN ROME, however, does have its redeeming parts. Actor Josh Duhamel counts as one. His character's pretty darn adorable, and the man's easy-peasy on the eyes as well. Danny Devito has a small (pardon the pun) part as a sausage magnate and as one of Beth's admirers. While I'm not a fan of sausage, who doesn't love Danny? One of Beth's other suitors is an illusionist. He does not have an overly significant role, but he entertained me enough to enjoy watching him stalk her for a couple hours--especially when he steals her watch over and over and over again as a way to impress her, or when she comes home only to find him hanging from her ceiling in a straight jacket. Blips of mild goodness throughout.

I give WHEN IN ROME 2 stars, do not recommend it, will not ever watch it again, and predict it dying a slow, painful death on Walmart's $5 DVD rack.

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