Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Rome, Lots of Love for Bell

When in Rome

Release: 01.29.10
DVD Release: 06.15.10
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 31 minutes

Second Run Seats

Keeping with yesterday's confession of contracting TVD, today's review will feature an actress who caught my attention with her short-lived-despite-being-awesome series, Veronica Mars.

Beth (Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is a New York gal and curator at the Guggenheim who only has eyes for her latest exhibition. However, she must tear herself away from work to attend her sister's wedding in Rome (such a sacrifice, I know!). As fate would have it, bad cell phone service leads her to the Blackberry of the handsome best man, Nick (Josh Duhamel, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton). Complications arise and, angry for opening herself up to kismet, Beth enacts revenge on fate by stealing five coins from the magical fountain of love. Once back at work in NYC, Beth finds she's attracted five suitors, Nick included, thanks to her Rome shenanigans.

When a movie bases its premise literally on the magic of love, you should give it some leeway in the reality department. For example, when Beth needs a centerpiece for her exhibit, it's convenient that Nick happens to own a rarely seen work that exactly matches her show's theme. Even better; having a starving painter, struggling street magician, male model and the sausage king (I assume of New York, not Chicago) happen to live in the same city as Beth despite tossing their wishes of love in a fountain a quarter-way around the world.

When in Rome scores with its slam dunk casting. Beth's four non-Nick suitors are played by Will Arnett (Hot Rod), Jon Heder (Just Like Heaven), Dax Shepard (Baby Mama), and Danny Devito (The Oh in Ohio) and each is as silly and funny as the next. One less suitor could have helped refocus the story on the romantic resolution, but I'd be hard-pressed to pick which to axe. Current SNL cast member Bobby Moynihan (Mystery Team) yucks it up as Nick's friend; he's the next big thing, trust me. Even TV veteran, Don Johnson (TV: Miami Vice), pops up at the wedding as Beth's dear old dad (not to spoil it, but he didn't sing Heartbeat at the reception).

Dirty Undies
I don't recall anything too racy. Beth's sister Joan (Alexis Dziena, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) parades around in an apron and her wedded bliss. If Dax Shepard floats your boat, he's quick to go shirtless, putting his sick puppies, a.k.a. abs, on display. Generally, you have to let your imagination run wild about Duhamel or Bell. As long as Bell is showing off those killer gams I'm happy. I'd be happier if I could wrap those thighs around my head like ear muffs...what?! To lift her above the crowd so she can lead a cheer to her awesomeness. She is rather petite, you know.

The Money Shot
Fans of Kristen Bell, and soon-to-be fans of Kristen Bell should see this because, well, she rocks even in lackluster films (I know, I've seen Fanboys). If you can overlook the little (and big) plot contrivances and roll with the cheesy vibe, you'll find When in Rome fairly enjoyable.


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  1. Hmm I had a sort of sick curiosity about this when it came out, mostly because I love Kristen Bell and Lee Pace (whom I had assumed was one of the suitors but now I see is more of a cameo). Good to know it's watchable, but I think I'd wait for it to come on tv or something!

  2. @Mr Lonely: Will do. Thanks for visiting.

    @Alex: Lee Pace is a cameo. Either that or I was too busy staring at the lovely Ms. Bell. :-) I paid a $1.50 and didn't feel cheated. Waiting for TV is a good bet; it wasn't too graphic or vulgar so it won't lose much into tv translation.