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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.