‘When in Rome’ is everything that is bad with movies nowadays. A romantic comedy with a recycled and absurd premise, vacuous humor, and a script as predictable as the weather in LA. These are the types of movies that you should never pay to see for many reasons including a lack of soul, depth or real substance to any of these characters. Everything ssems to be a fantasy passed off as reality and the producers must think we are the fools that will buy it.
Here’s the storyline. Beth (Bell) is a young, ambitious New Yorker who is completely unlucky in love. However, when she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love during a whirlwind trip to Rome, she finds herself aggressively pursued by a band of suitors with one of them becoming her one true love.
The protagonists seem to be better than what the script constrained them to. Kristen Bell showed promise in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Josh Duhamel (who looks like Joey Lawrence’s long lost twin brother) could be either an action leading man in his future or continue to do rom-com’s. The acting wasn’t the big problem, the screenwriters, David Diamond, David Weissman and the director Mark Steven Johnson are fully responsible for this ignominious failure.
The standard for today’s romantic comedy was set with Rob Reiner’s ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and some would argue Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’. But ‘When in Rome’ looks like a disaster from the onset and should not be worth your time or money at the movies. Perhaps a DVD pick? Not even. It is one of the worst movies of the year.