WHEN IN ROME

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JUNE 22, 2010

Take all the romantic comedies you have ever seen and give them a whimsical Disney-like essence and you will get “When In Rome”. Much like this year’s “Leap Year”, they fail to have any sort of “wow” factor. Instead, they become drivel with “name” actors/actresses thrown into the molds, bringing no sort of character out of them. Amy Adams; great actress. “Leap Year” = bad! Kristen Bell; superb actress. “When In Rome” = not even close to good.

What do you expect when the plot does not make a lick of sense and the characters seem like adolescents? This would have played out better if the whole wedding portion had been dropped and the characters were teenagers… then I may have believed it (hey, if Michael Cera can pull off 16 years old in “Youth In Revolt“, these guys could pull off teens as well). Why this film was aimed at being fun for adults I will never understand. I found myself drawn to the extreme side characters, in particular, Josh Duhamel’s friend in the film, Bobby Moynihan, who I later discovered is from the current roster of Saturday Night Live. His character was honestly the only funny part in the dismal landscape of the film. His poker table antics and witty retorts to Duhamel’s character were the only shining light.

Cameos from the “Napoleon Dynamite” pairing of Jon Heder and his trusty friend Efron “Pedro” Ramirez was much appreciated and Danny DeVito as one of the love-drunk lust zombies was somewhat unexpected. The rest of the cast falls off the map (including Don Johnson’s appearance as the father). I am unsure of this film down to its very core, including the marketing, with the horrible trailer aimed at killing anything sexy about Kristen Bell’s voice. The film lacks heart. At times, the script feels thrown together and lackluster. Nothing about this film inclines for a second viewing. Kristen Bell’s beauty remains the only positive thing coming out of this film.

RELEASE DATE
January 29, 2010

DIRECTOR
Mark Steven Johnson

WRITTEN BY
Mark Steven Johnson
David Diamond
David Weiss

STUDIO
Touchstone Pictures

PG-13
(for some suggestive content)

COMEDY
ROMANCE

91 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
John Bailey

COMPOSER
Christopher Young

EDITOR
Ryan Folsey

CAST
Kristen Bell
Josh Duhamel
Will Arnett
Jon Heder
Dax Shepard
Danny DeVito
Anjelica Huston
Lee Pace
Shaquille O’Neal
Don Johnson
Bobby Moynihan
Kristen Schaal
Efren Ramirez

PRODUCED BY
Mark Steven Johnson
Gary Foster
Andrew Panay

BUDGET
$28 million

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