Best Movies of All Time + [Will Arnett]

WHEN IN ROME

WHEN IN ROME-13

You can watch the trailer here

I guess everybody needs a paycheck every now and again.

It's not to say that I had extremely high hopes going into When in Rome - in all honesty, I watched it on a whim at the expense of my boredom - but I could have hoped for a little more than what I got. With a cast speckled with some well-known names in comedy, it's sad to think that their talent was wasted so easily. Director Mark Steven Johnson should have been able to do a little bit more.

At the beginning of the film, we find ourselves following Beth (Kristen Bell), a workaholic New Yorker with no time for love. On a trip to Rome for her sister's wedding, she thinks she may have found a quality guy in Nick (Josh Duhamel), but when she sees him with another woman, she plunges herself into a literal "fountain of love" (based off the real Trevi Fountain) where she proceeds to remove five coins from the bottom of the fountain. Unbeknownst to her, when a coin is removed from the fountain, the person who threw the coin in will fall in love with the person who removed it. From this point, we see a quartet of men following Beth to New York, stalking her everywhere she goes, and all the while, Beth is trying to fall in love with Nick.

Now tell me: does any of this sound familiar to anyone else? I have often blamed the romantic comedy genre for being much too cliché, and When in Rome only helps to prove my theory. In a sense, we've got our basic rom-com storyline (girl meets boy; girl falls for boy; girl gets boy) with a few minor twists and tweaks to make it seem fresh. However, at its heart, it's the same old tale, stale and unoriginal.

I don't personally have a problem with Kristen Bell, although there has been some talk that film studios are trying to make her America's new sweetheart, and I can see where they're coming from. With films like this one and You Again, it's hard to argue that she's been getting a good number of starring comedic roles in recent past. She plays her usual self here, and it works for what it's worth, but it's nothing really special. Duhamel certainly carries a good amount of charm, and it's always nice to see him on the screen, but he really didn't have much to work with this time around. Maybe stick to those oh-so-wonderfully-written Transformers flicks? (Read: sarcasm).

If anything's working in When in Rome, it's the four potential suitors chasing Beth all over New York. They all bring something a little different to the table: Will Arnett plays an Italian (or is he?) artist; Jon Heder comes in as a street-side magician; Dax Shepard plays a male model (and giant tool - a character he has come to perfect over the years); and Danny DeVito plays a sausage company king. They all bring a certain quirkiness necessary for each of their characters, and they all help to spur the realizations about love that Beth desperately needed to find. However, I just feel as though there were too many guys gracing the screen at once. If Beth would have only had to deal with one or two stalkers, I think the movie would have been a little more manageable; as it stands now, however, it's just a bit of an overload.

Oh, and a couple cameos, from the likes of Efren Ramirez, Shaq and Keir O'Donnell, prove to be pretty funny as well.

All in all, When in Rome is supposed to be a comedy, so it's overall success lies in whether it could actually make me laugh. Aside from a couple of random chuckles here and there, I just could not find the humor in it. It started off a little to silly and slapsticky for me to want to take it seriously later in the film, and that greatly hurt its chances of being a quality film. I do concede that I was not the target audience for this flick, but my review stands as is.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: F
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