Review: When in Rome

When in Rome | Mark Steve Johnson, 2010

Oh how it pains me when a movie with potential does not reach it. This is because I’m spending precious time watching something and I can see that it could be good, that its premise could me a great movie, but because of the director, the script, or the performances it’s just not going to get there. When in Rome is such movie. I wasn’t going to see it because critics trashed it and it failed at the box offfice but then I thought “hey, I saw Obsessed, why shouldn’t I see this?” But one thing that critis fail to mention is how interesting the premise is, unless they are saying how it could work as a horror movie.

So, this movie, like every other romantic comedy of the last few years, follows a successful and beautiful woman that loves her job too much to find a man. But one day she gets a call from her sister who says that she is getting married to an Italian man she met two weeks ago. So, obviously their wedding is in Rome, and she goes there to be the maid of honor. She then falls in love with the groom’s best man, who just happens to live in the same city as she does. However, that day she sees him with another girl, gets depressed, jumps into the fountain of love and pulls out five coins from there. Since this is a movie, the men who dropped their coins fall in love with her, and they all live in New York, too, and hilarity supposedly ensues.

To me, the premise sounds interesting. I mean, it had the potential to be an enchanting and pleasing movie. And it had the cast for it too, but the script and the direction totally kill it. The script is so full of clichés like the nosy assistant who thinks she knows everything, and the goofy best friend who doesn’t want his friend to settle down. Also, none of the characters are developed enough to care about them. The two leads fall in love within fifteen minutes and I did not buy that for a second. And the direction is pretty much just point-and-shoot, with no creativity behind it. Plus, there’s all that lame slapstick humor like running into a tree, or falling down an unexpected hole, or running into a cart. It’s just not funny.

And the cast, what a waste. Given the proper role, I think Kristen Bell could end up being like Audrey Hepburn, meaning someone who always brings class to whatever role she plays. And she has great chemistry with Josh Duhamel, who could use a couple of acting lesses but alright. Then there are Dane DeVito, Will Arnet, and Dax Shepperd who are actually talented comedic actors. I could have done without Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro (WTF?). And Anjelica Huston is in this. ANJELICA HUSTON IS IN THIS! WHY IS SHE GIVEN ONLY A COUPLE OF LINES TO READ!

When in rome had the perfect cast. All it needed was a much better script, a director with talent, and a longer running time. Hopefully someone will recycle the basic premise and make a better movie.

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