When In Rome

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Strange Suitors Chase Kristen Bell in When in Rome

May 28, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting idea.  Decent cast.

Cons:Bit cheesy.  Not as funny as I'd hoped.  Some characters under used.

The Bottom Line: When in Rome has some issues, but it is entertaining overall.  Fans of the cast might find something to like about it.


I tend to like Kristen Bell, so I've been willing to check out several of her movies.  I usually end up enjoying them overall even when they have issues.  I just watched When in Rome, one of her newer movies.

Beth is a curator for the Guggenheim Museum, a job that she loves.  She has been unlucky with relationships and she is less than happy to learn first that her ex and then her young sister Joan have gotten engaged.  Beth only takes 48 hours off work to go Joan's wedding in Rome.  While there, Beth meets Nick, the somewhat klutzy best man.  The two hit it off, but then Beth sees him with another woman.  After having too much to drink, Beth jumps in the Fountain of Love and takes five of the coins.  

Once she is back home, strange men start chasing after her, doing everything they can to prove they love her.  Antonio is an artist who wants to see her feet before doinga shocking painting.  Lance is a weird street magician who keeps turning up, doing odd tricks.  Gale is a male model with a very high opinion of himself.  Al is an older man who is the king of sausage.  Beth finds out that there is a legend about the fountain that says if someone takes a coin from it, they will become the object of love of whoever threw the coin in.  Beth tries to discourage her odd suitors while also spending some time with Nick and developing feelings for him.

I think the main idea for the plot of When in Rome is interesting and it manages to make an entertaining movie overall.  Though the plot could have been a little stronger, which would have made the movie better overall.  Time is taken to introduce Beth during the first few minutes and show that her job is basically her life.  It doesn't take long for her to get to Rome and take the coins from the fountain.  The rest of the movie is focused on how she deals with the odd suitors and rather weird things they do to gain her attention while also dealing with her growing feelings for Nick.  Not enough time is spent dealing with any of the men since there are so many of them. I think it would have worked better if there had been fewer men with more attention given to them and their attempts to win Beth.

The previews I had seen for When in Rome before seeing the movie made it look like it would be really funny.  Unfortunately, once again, most of the funny moments end up in the trailer.  The movie is humorous, but it isn't anywhere near as funny as the trailers made it out to be or I had hoped it would be.  There are funny moments to what is happening but there just aren't enough of them.  Most of the things done to add humor are a bit silly, but they end up working considering the plot and what is going on in the movie.  At one point, characters end up in a weird trendy restaurant where the staff have to wear night vision goggles to see.  The things that happen there are funny.  The guys do some extreme things when trying to win over Beth, like when Antonio paints a huge nude of her on the side of a building.  There is a magical element to what is happening because of the legend of the fountain and what happens when coins are taken from it.  People do need to be able to suspend their disbelief to enjoy the movie.        

Relationships are definitely important to what is going on in When in Rome.  Beth is single and hasn't been in a relationship for a while when the movie begins.  She hasn't had good luck with romance and she tends to be very wary.  She also has some issues tied to the fact that her parents are divorced and her father has remarried more than once.  The four guys chasing after Beth do things that are more silly than romantic.  There is a believable connection between Beth and Nick and their developing relationship does add a bit of romance to what is going on.

When in Rome really revolves around Beth.  She is nice and likable overall, though she does come off a little flighty at times with how she reacts to what is going on, especially where Nick is concerned.  She just keeps acting like that instead of trying to explain anything to him.  I do like Kristen Bell and think she does a good job with the part.  She does comedy well.  Joan is Beth's younger sister.  She gets engaged after only knowing the man for two weeks.  She seems nice enough, though she isn't in enough of the movie to be developed.  Alexis Dziena is fine in the part.  Umberto is the man that Joan marries.  He's in even less of the movie.  Don Johnson turns up in a few short scenes as Beth's dad.  Her mom is in a scene or two as well.

Nick is the best main at Joan's wedding.  He is a bit clumsy and he tends to run into things.  He isn't as developed, but he's still a nice guy.  Josh Duhamel does well with the part.  Puck is Nick's kind of goofy friend.  Bobby Moynihan is fine in the part and even steals a few scenes.  Stacy works with Beth and the two women do seem to be friends.  Stacy wants to see Beth happy and that causes her to interfere at one point.  Kate Micucci is fine in the part.  Angelica Houston does a good job as Celeste, Beth's stern, demanding boss.   

The four guys after Beth because of the coins are rather unique and goofy, with Gail being just weird at times.  He's some sort of model who seems to mostly be in love with himself.  He does try to win over Beth, though he does get distracted by talking about himself and showing off her own attributes.  Dax Shepard does well with the part even though he really doesn't have a lot to do.  Lance is the odd, sort of creepy magician who keeps popping up doing strange illusions.  He is always doing some sort of trick, so it is understandable why Beth gets annoyed.  Jon Heder is fine in the part.  

Antonio is the artist who is determined to see Beth's feet.  Will Arnett does well with the part.  Al is a little older, but just as determined as the other guys.  He has some kind of sausage company and he calls himself the king of sausage.  I do like Danny DeVito in the part.  It would have been nice if he'd had a little more to do.  Other characters turn up briefly without really standing out.
                                    
Main Cast
   
Will Arnett - Antonio
Kristen Bell - Beth
Danny DeVito - Al
Josh Duhamel - Nick
Alexis Dziena - Joan
Jon Heder - Lance
Angelica Houston - Celeste
Kate Micucci - Stacy
Bobby Moynihan - Puck
Dax Shepard - Gail       

Mark Steven Johnson - Director

When in Rome is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  I watched the Blu-ray version.  The picture quality is really good.  There are some deleted scenes, alternate opening and ending scenes, a featurette about the cast, and bloopers.  The extras are entertaining.  I don't know if the DVD has the same extras or not.

When in Rome is entertaining overall even though it has a few issues.  Fans of Kristen Bell or Josh Duhamel may find something to like about the movie.

Kristen Bell Movie Reviews
Burlesque ~ Couples Retreat ~ Fanboys ~ Forgetting Sarah Marshall ~ Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season ~ Veronica Mars - The Complete Second Season ~ You Again ~


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