When in Rome

"Weak"

When in Rome Review


Despite its over-the-top zaniness, this romantic comedy manages to keep us entertained with its starry cast and a nutty plot. If only the filmmakers had resisted the urge to exaggerate both the humour and the sentimentality.

Guggenheim curator Beth (Bell) is organising an important museum event when she has to dash to Rome for her sister's sudden wedding, where she begins to fall for best man Nick (Duhamel), who rescues her from a few embarrassing moments but lets her down romantically. In a funk, she swipes some coins from a fountain then ends up being stalked back in New York by the lovelorn guys (painter Arnett, wannabe model Shepard, street magician Heder and art patron DeVito) who threw them into the water.

The film takes a bright and wacky tone from the start, with broad comical touches such as having Beth run into her ex (Pace) with spinach on her teeth, get humiliated in front of her peers and break a heel. All within the film's first five minutes. So we pretty much know that this trip to Rome is going to be a madcap disaster. Sure enough, the slapstick only escalates from there, most of the time stretching the gag far beyond the breaking point.

The problem is that Beth is supposed to be a high-flier, and yet she seems to get everything wrong. Bell and Duhamel actually manage to give their characters enough charisma to be likeable, although everyone around them overacts shamelessly (and Duhamel has his moments). Director Johnson clearly encouraged the cast to mug for the cameras, indulge in corny pratfalls and speak in sketch-comedy accents. In other words, this is a simplistic movie with an unimaginative script.

This is one of those films in which neither the cast nor crew seem to trust their potentially engaging premise, even though all of them have plenty of talent. But every scene descends into preposterous, unfunny farce. The clowning gets annoying very quickly, and it's certainly not helped by groan-inducing cheesiness. Even so, moments of genuine charm let us see glimpses of what this film could have been.



When in Rome

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th January 2010

Box Office USA: $32.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $36.7M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Touchstone Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 92

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Nick Beamon, as Beth Harper, as Celeste, as Antonio, as Lance, as Gale, as Joan, as Stacy, as Puck, as Priscilla, as Priest, as Brady Sacks, as Ilona, as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.