When in Rome (2010)

When in Rome, do not do as this banal movie does. Know what kind of movie you’re in for? There’s an audio record scratch/slowdown effect twice in the first ten minutes. Kirsten Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is an unlucky in love workaholic who, when in Rome, pilfers coins from the Fountain of Love. This makes the subjects who tossed the coins (Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Danny DeVito, Will Arnett) magically fall in love with Bell. They chase her back to New York and act like obsessive stalkers. Essentially, this is a rip-off of Love Potion Number Nine, except this rom-com is neither romantic nor comedic. The comedy is mostly brain-dead slapstick and the payoffs never materialize. In one scene, Bell and a date go out for a “night dinner” where they eat completely in the dark. There’s plenty of potential there but it’s like a minute until her posse of stalkers interrupt and the date’s over. There’s stuff like people running into trees, people squeezing into a tiny Italian car, a vase that’s supposed to break as a wedding celebration and refuses to break, and Bell and her lead, Josh Duhamel, have zero chemistry and like a three feet height differential. The movie is so joyless and bereft of energy. The scripts seems to be missing many scenes that fill in details about the various characters, or at least help give setup and context. The movie exists squarely in the absurd realm of romantic comedies and it’s thoroughly mediocre. I would expect nothing less from the writers of Old Dogs. I enjoy Bell but it’s not hard to resist the spell of this junk.

Nate’s Grade: C-

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on June 24, 2010, in 2010 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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