When In Rome is a 2010 English movie directed by Mark Steven Johnson with in Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Jon Heder lead roles. Read the film review at CalcuttaTube.
When In Rome Review by IANS
Movie: ‘When In Rome’;
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Will Arnett;
Director: Mark Steven Johnson;
Imagine if the ads really came true, if you really are chased by an admiring crowd of the opposite sex. Would it be perfect? Not for Beth (Kristen Bell). For her, the dream just turned nightmare.
Beth is the quintessential modern woman who loves her job as art curator so much that it leads to the failure of her relationships with men. She has given up on the magic called love and she does not hope, yet she secretly does hope that just maybe she will meet a man who she’ll ‘love more than her job’.
She chides her kid sister who is marrying an Italian she met two weeks earlier. At her sister’s marriage in Rome, she unwittingly picks up coins from the fountain of love, coins that lovers have thrown wishing for the perfect love. She thus mysteriously attracts the five men to whom the five coins belongs. One of them is Nick (Josh Duhamel), the man she met at her sister’s marriage.
A funny set of events ensues as the men under the spell chase and try to woo her even as she falls for Nick, unwilling because she knows his love is caused by the spell.
The plot, as you can read, is perfect for a romantic comedy. Only just a decent plot does not a romantic comedy needs. They are made by something magical, not the spell, but the mysterious chemistry between its lead pair, some interesting incidents, insights, the timing of their actors. ‘When in Rome’ has none.
It entertains, but has nothing that you have not seen before – the slapstick comedy, the bumping on poles, the hesitation between wannabe lovers… it’s all been done to death and often in the exact way film shows.
The characterisation in ‘When in Rome’ is paper thin. Not much time is devoted to most of the characters besides the lead pair.
The film is also a tome of missed opportunities. The plot is built up well, but not exploited enough and neither are the situation for humour that such a plot presents itself. It would seem the writer and director suffered from imaginations-block. But that may not be the case. Director Mark Steven Johnson debuted with the heart-tugging ‘Simon Birch’ and went to make action thrillers, ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Ghost Rider’. This is his first foray in the genre of romance-comedy and the effort clearly shows.
Right from the title, to situations, almost everything in the film is cliched. There is no witty one-liners, no moments funny enough for you to share with friends and even the chemistry between the lead pair seem devoid of passion.
There is nothing that you will take back from the movie. Love, and finding the right partner may feel magical, but rest assured, watching this movie will not.
When In Rome Review by Sampurn Wire
Verdict: When in Rome- Avoid this one
Rating: 1.5 out of 5*
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Kristen Bell, Danny DeVito, Alexis Dziena and Don Johnson
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall fame) plays Beth, an events curator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, who is one year removed from her last relationship and in some serious need of lovin’. Her little sister Joan, played by the ridiculously adorable Alexis Dziena, is going to marry her new boyfriend in Italy, and Beth’s presence is required regardless of her mad busy work schedule. So off to Italy she goes, leaving her snooty boss Celeste (Anjelica Huston) sneering and bitching. While in Rome, Beth makes nice with best man Nick (Josh Duhamel), but a misunderstanding leaves her drunk and wading through a fountain, where she snatches up some coins. These coins represent the love hopes of five different men, and those five men will fall unconditionally in love with Beth because of some local fountain legend. Four of the men consist of a street magician (Jon Heder), a male model (Dax Shepard), a sausage king (Danny DeVito) and a struggling artist (Will Arnett). The fifth man is somewhat of a mystery, although Beth assumes its Nick.
Claiming to be a romantic comedy, the movie is not funny, there’s very little romance, and the screenplay by David Diamond and David Weissman is just a brainless mess of silly characters doing stupid things on camera. We’re supposed to fall in love with the beautiful Rome location shots. But they’re all filmed with an oversaturated lens, making them feel fake and forced. The vibrant glow of the late evening golden hour plays beautifully against the rustic Italian stonework. But the overuse of the treatment brings too much attention to itself… especially when it’s utilized no matter what time of time of day it is. The film works best when Bell and leading man Josh Duhamel are on the screen together. Nick’s coin was one of the items Beth found in the fountain. There’s a wee bit of romantic spark between the two actors, but it’s difficult to tell when director Mark Steven Johnson insists on keeping the distraction level around them in maximum overdrive. The wacky side characters always manage to derail any chemistry the two are able to muster up.
There are exactly two somewhat amusing gags in When in Rome, which mostly takes place in New York. One involves a gimmick restaurant where patrons eat in total darkness (the hostess played by Kristen Schaal wearing night goggles and the other has the yellow clown car of the movie’s poster taking an elevator. The rest of the film is a series of paralyzingly painful miscommunications and coincidences.
While the lead pair tries hard to impress, they are majorly let down by the direction and poor script.
Avoid this one!
– Sampurn Wire