182: When in Rome

When in Rome (PG-13) - 2010 - Runtime: ? minutes
Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Dax Shepherd, Danny Devito, Jon Heder
Director: Mark Steven Johnson

We got free screening tickets for this movie at work and I decided why not? It looks like harmless fun. And if I don't like it, I didn't pay for it, right? Well, to put it nicely, this movie comes out on January 29 next year and you could probably find a thousand better things to watch or do than go check this stinker out.

Kristen Bell plays Beth, an ambitious PR gal who recently got dumped and on top of that, has to play the maid of honor at her sister's wedding in Rome. What luck! Well, don't ya know it, she makes a fool of herself at the wedding in front of a dreamy (and steamy) Nick (Josh Duhamel). But after failing at picking up anybody, she decides to take her anger out on a poor magical fountain by removing the change from the pool where people wish for true love. And in so doing, she finds herself being wooed by five very different (and goofy!) men, one of which is Nick. And it's up to Beth and her witty assistant to sort things out and find out who's the true love.

Despite my sarcastic embellishments with the plot, it sounded like a good premise. Unfortunately this is a poorly written and executed movie. And the cast just misfires - it seems like most of the actors are just phoning it in and waiting for their paycheck. Will Arnett? Funny man, but not so funny in this movie with his silly haircut and accent. I like Dax Shepherd, and he probably had the most laughs, but otherwise uninspiring. I actually thought Duhamel was pretty great, he's a klutz (By the way, there is a lot of physical comedy in this movie. In fact, it's too much, it's as if the writers couldn't come up with better jokes, so they have Josh run into a pole!). The rest of the cast? Umm, Kristen Bell is pretty?

Overall, it just wasn't funny and honestly, I really don't know how this got a PG-13, it's really a PG movie. There's nothing overtly sexual and the language isn't bad at all. The only threatening thing in this movie is a naked mural of Kristen Bell that isn't as bad as some magazine covers. So, despite the great premise and incredible cast - this one strikes out. Not only is it not funny - most of the movie doesn't even take place in Rome! I know! How crazy is that? And the ending just keeps going, too! Once you think things are going to settle down and the credits will pop up! BAM! They hit you with another chase sequence or twist! It's a little ridiculous and I was frankly getting tired by the end when I knew how things were going to work out.

So it's best to avoid this movie at all costs, go sit down and watch 13 Going on 30, hell even Just Like Heaven was better than this "magical" romantic comedy.

Rating: Avoid Like the Plague

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