When in Rome

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Kristen Bell as Beth
Josh Duhamel as Nick
Anjelica Huston as Celeste
Will Arnett as Antonio
Jon Heder as Lance
Dax Shepard as Gale
Alexis Dziena as Joan
Kate Micucci as Stacy
Peggy Lipton as Priscilla
Luca Calvani as Umberto
Keir O’Donnell as Father Dino
Bobby Moynihan as Puck
Judith Molina as Umberto’s Grandma
Lee Pace as Brady Sacks

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes

Kerplunk! Bloopers from Rome

Music Video: “Starstruck” by 3OH!3 Featuring Katy Perry

Music Video: “Stupid Love Letter” by Friday Night Boys

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 91 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Bring home the must-own romantic comedy of the year, filled with wildly funny twists and turns! When Beth, an unlucky-in-love New York curator (Kristen Bell), takes a whirlwind trip to Rome for her sister’s wedding, an unexpected crush takes her by surprise. Quickly let down, she defiantly plucks coins from the Fontana de Amore, magically igniting the passions of some comically unsuitable suitors. As a charming reporter (Josh Duhamel) becomes zealously smitten, Beth is skeptical that he’s the real deal. Don’t miss hilarious performances from an all-star cast you’ll want to see again and again.”

“When in Rome” is rated PG-13 for some suggestive content.

Mini-Review:
On paper, “When in Rome” should have been a good film. The basic concept is fun. A woman pulls five coins out of a fountain in Rome and the guys that threw those coins in the fountain magically fall in love with her. The cast is also filled with actors that I really like. I’m a fan of Kristen Bell, Anjelica Huston, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Danny DeVito, and Dax Shepard. But it simply didn’t work on so many levels.

First of all, the story barely takes place in Rome. Beth appears there for her sister’s impromptu wedding, pulls the coins out of the fountain, then heads back to New York. The majority of the film takes place in New York. So you miss out on a lot of the Roman locations, the culture, and other stuff that could have spiced up the film.

Second, they rely on the pratfall way too much. I used to think comedies got desperate when they relied on fart jokes. I now think the pratfall is the real sign of trouble. Josh Duhamel as Nick falls into things, runs into things, and generally pratfalls repeatedly. It doesn’t work.

Third, none of Beth’s suitors are funny. Danny DeVito stalking Kristen Bell just comes across as creepy, especially when you throw in the fact that he’s the ‘Sausage King.’ Will Arnett rolling out every Italian stereotype as Antonio is just annoying. Jon Heder as street magician Lance generates no laughs whatsoever. They even have a surprise cameo by the guy that played Pedro in “Napoleon Dynamite.” Rather than being funny, it just comes across as incredibly desperate. Dax Shepard is slightly amusing as the vain male model Gale, but he seems to only have one trick in his repertoire and it gets old fast. Unfortunately, if the suitors aren’t funny then the entire movie falls apart. That’s exactly what it does.

“When in Rome” ends up being a big parade of romantic comedy clich├ęs. Besides the aforementioned problems, you have the beautiful young professional that inexplicably can’t find love, the standard New York setting, the characters dancing in the end credits, the funny sidekick friend, etc etc etc. This film has nothing new to offer. I recommend passing on it and checking out some other romantic comedy.

The bonus features are light. You get a blooper reel and a short selection of deleted scenes. There are a couple of music videos that are only mediocre, even with the guest appearance of Katy Perry.

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