"When in Rome" movie review

Apparently there have been screenings of "When in Rome" for about two months now—my alma mater, the University of Michigan, had a screening back in November. There was also a screening in mid-December in Birmingham, MI that I could have gone to, but we chose to see "Brothers" that night instead—which, having seen "When in Rome," turned out to be a very good choice.

Beth (Kristen Bell) works as a curator at the Guggenheim museum in New York, and her little sister (Alexis Dziena, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist") shows up at her apartment one night to tell her that she is engaged to a man she met on a flight to Italy two weeks ago. They are getting married in Rome and she wants Beth to be there. Even though she is organizing a major art benefit show that is upcoming, Beth drops everything and flies to Rome, where she meets the very cute best man, Nick (Josh Duhamel). During the wedding, she goes to the "Fountain of Love" that is outside the church and decides to take five coins from the fountain, to "save them" from love; the men who threw the coins in the fountain, however, are then put under this "magic spell" and all fall in love with her. When Beth returns to New York, these men (Will Arnett, Jon Heder from "Napoleon Dynamite," Dax Shepard, and Danny DeVito, respectively) resort to almost stalking, proclaiming that they are in love with her. The spell must have worked! Meanwhile, Nick keeps calling, but Beth is convinced that one of the coins she took was his; therefore, she tries to ignore him because she thinks it's "unfair" as Nick is under the "spell."

I would say, No, don't see this movie, unless you're going for the eye candy (Josh Duhamel). The trailer for this movie looked very cute, and with a ton of A-listers involved, I was sure it was going to be a good movie. I was wrong. There are a couple of random cameos that were fun—Shaq showed up in a scene, Don Johnson ("Nash Bridges") plays Beth's father, and Anjelica Huston ("Ever After") is Beth's bitchy boss at the Guggenheim, who is constantly reminding her that "[she's] talented, but is replaceable." Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies") plays an ex of Beth's in the beginning of the film as well.

The movie started off well—Duhamel's character is a bit of a klutz, and there are tons of gags based on that—but after Beth returns to New York the movie gets stale, and the jokes just aren't funny. The dialogue is pretty awful, too: Duhamel spends most of the movie looking confused as Beth attempts to tell him over and over why they can't be together, repeatedly explaining that "this isn't real." I feel like they could have done much more with this movie, but unfortunately, most of the funny parts are revealed in the trailer. Overall consensus? Skip this dreck and go see "Avatar" or "Edge of Darkness" instead.

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