Friday, September 10, 2010

DVD--When in Rome (post #300!)

or: Young people in fluffy rom-com...example #5123

One word to sum it up: Predicatable.

As explained in my review of The Rebound, I can't stay away from romantic comedies. Upon falling sick and having to spend two days at home, I embarked on a quest through Blockbuster for some movies to bust boredom. What I came up with? When in Rome. Even though romance pisses me off, I always watch this kind of film when I am sick because, well, they don't require too much thought.

Beth (Kristen Bell) is obsessed with work and refuses to fall in love until she finds someone she loves more than her work. She travels to Rome for her sister's wedding, and goes to the famed Fountain of Love and takes some coins. Upon returning to New York, four men start coming onto her as she has their coins. But she finds herself falling in love with Nick (Josh Duhamel), even though she thinks their relationship is the result of one of the coins. However, the other four men keep coming in between her real relationship and, well, her sanity.

This movie should be arrested for excessive use of rom-com cliches. The end could have been seen from a mile away. In fact, you could probably tell what the end was going to be without actually watching the movie. It's mostly devoid of laughs, which is a shame because it has a genuinely funny cast. Will Arnett, Danny DeVito, Dax Shephard and Jon Heder (also, a cameo from Pedro of Napoleon Dynamite fame) play some pretty strange characters, but unfortunately, I didn't find them funny. They were characters who I have become so used to seeing in other films of this type and there wasn't really anything outrageously funny to laugh at.

Kristen Bell, however, has some pretty infectious charm. She probably makes the movie worth watching, even though her character completely pissed me off. She was like a more whiny, more preppy combination of Summer from (500) Days of Summer and Andy Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada...she didn't believe in love and cared about her job more than anything else. Josh Duhamel was a likeable enough romantic lead, but his comic timing was somewhat painful and he should really just stick to action films. While When in Rome is so much of a rom-com it's a criminal offence, it can't help but make you some weird way.

THE VERDICT: Unfortunately one of the worst offenders in recent rom-com history, but it's young leads, Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, make use of this small opportunity to show off their charms.


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