January 29, 2010
Review - " When in Rome " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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After botching the toast and failing to break the vase that'll guarantee her sister and her new hubby lifelong happiness
(apparently, some sort of Italian wedding tradition), Beth and Nick, a former football player-turned-sportswriter, meet cute.
With her dad's advice of "being open to love" still hanging in the air, Beth is willing to consider the prospect once she and
Nick hit it off.
In fact, everything's going swimmingly, a pleasant surprise considering Beth's past, until she eventually sees Nick kissing
another woman by the nearby fountain an hour later. Immediately labeling him as a player, (the sort of "misunderstanding"
that has fueled many a rom-com), the weak plot device still moves the story along.
Determined that she's been right about love all along, Beth
promptly drinks her weight in champagne, hops into a fountain
and steals a few coins. Turns out they aren't just any coins,
though; these coins are wishes and ultimately, the hearts of the
men who tossed them in.
Now back in Manhattan, Beth starts noticing a strange phenomena,
namely a slew of strange suitors who show up randomly and claim
they're madly in love with her, even if they're not sure why.
There's a short, balding sausage enthusiast (Danny DeVito in an
uncredited role) who claims that "encased meat is my life's work,"
a wacky magician with a penchant for stealing people's watches
(a very funny Jon Heder), a demented Italian artist with a really
bad accent (Will Arnett) and a narcissistic male "model" (a
scene-stealing Dax Shepard) who tries to woo her with lines like
"I don't know whether to look at my own reflection or you. That's
how beautiful you are!"
In the meantime, handsome ol' Nick has also resurfaced and
makes his best attempt to win her heart, too. However, when Beth
suspects that he's also under the same love spell that was set
into motion by her stealing the coins, she initially resists and then...
Yeah, I won't give away the rest of the story - that would ruin any
potential moviegoer's fun. Chances are, you'll see the ending
coming from a mile way anyway. But if you're a fan of the rom-com
genre and aren't looking for any deep ruminations on love, you
probably won't even care because there's certainly enough
bubbly, effervescent spirit in When in Rome to keep you
entertained for 90 minutes—which is more than I can say for most
90-minute blocks of your average T.V. programming.
Legend has it that those who take coins from the fountain will become the object of affection of the coin’s previous owner.
Will she finally find true love? Or will the spell eventually wear off?
Clearly if you’re unable to suspend your disbelief in the cheesy plot device of a magic fountain casting love spells, this isn’t
the film for you. However, it's easily one of the best rom-com’s to come along in quite some time. Plus - Kristen Bell looks
awesome in that blue dress with the plunging neckline. Just try to look her in the eye - I dare you.
When in Rome
Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson.
Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Danny De Vito, Will Arnett, Jon
Heder and Dax Shepard
While the movie's trailer definitely had that lackluster, made-for-TV
feel, perhaps it's the presence of these fresh faces, not to mention
their winsome chemistry, that caused When in Rome to surpass my
Per the romantic comedy playbook, Beth (Kristen Bell) is the uptight,
Type-A workaholic whose opinion of love has been irrevocably
tarnished by the failings of boyfriends past. As a curator at the
Guggenheim (and not just any curator, mind you, but the brightest
new talent, according to her boss), she simply doesn't have time for
the messy inconvenience of relationships. And for the most part,
she's 100% fine with that, even when she's humiliated by a recent ex
in front of her co-workers during a party for a new exhibit.
Once her baby sister Joan (Alexis Dziena) announces her
engagement to a handsome Italian man she met a mere two weeks
ago, she still can't help but roll her eyes at her supposed naiveté. But
being a loving big sister, she finagles her busy schedule for Joan's
quickie wedding weekend in Rome.
Naturally, once Beth arrives in the Eternal City, she doesn't have time
for any of its charms, architectural or otherwise. Instead, she's
focused on somehow finding a good Blackberry connection because
she's still got an important exhibit to organize while performing her