When In Rome


Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Written by:David Diamond, David Weissman
Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Anjelica Huston, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard
Released: April 22, 2010
Grade: C

Beth (Bell) is a beautiful young lady living a dream life in New York City.  She has a trendy apartment and she works as a curator at the Guggenheim Museum.  In turns out that not everything is perfect.  Beth is unlucky when it comes to love.  Her family and friends are always asking when she’s going to find the right guy and get married but Beth doesn’t have an answer.  He just hasn’t come along yet.

While in Rome for her younger sister’s wedding, she stumbles across the Fountain of Love.  The legend goes that if you throw a coin in the fountain then you will find your true love.  The cynical Beth doesn’t believe in such fairytales and somewhat intoxicated, she takes off her shoes and steps into the fountain.  She then picks up five coins from the bottom and slips them into her purse.  Beth wants to save the people who have made these foolish wishes.

It turns out there are ramifications.  If you remove a coin from the fountain, its owner will fall madly in love with you.  Sure enough, Beth returns to New York and finds five guys working very hard to win her affections.  Could the legend really be true?

Complicating matters is the fact that Beth really likes one of these guys.  His name is Nick (Duhamel) and the met back in Italy at the wedding.  Beth’s not sure what to do though.  Does Nick really like her or is he just under some magical spell that will soon go away?

There’s an audience for films like this.  You will not find me among them.  This is a silly, cheesy romantic comedy that defies logic.  Even if you don’t mind the “too hard to believe” premise, you’ll probably feel disappointed by the lack of chemistry between stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel.  I don’t know why he kept pursuing her given how badly she treated him.

The best parts of the film are when Beth interacts with her other four suitors.  They provide the film’s only laughs (which are still few and far between).  Playing a gothic-looking magician, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) is the best of the cast.

The saying goes that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  I’d like to hope that watching mediocre romantic comedies like this is not something they’d do on a regular basis.