Saturday, 27 November 2010

When In Rome Film Review

I love movies that are filmed in Rome - it's such a beautiful city, and when I heard about this rom-com, I was quite excited. Could not have said the same for the plot, though there were some parts to be enjoyed. 

Beth (Kristen Bell) is a workaholic and upon attending her sister's wedding in Rome, meets Nick (Josh Duhamel) who she immediately falls for. Witnessing him canoodling with another woman, she gets drunk and  steals coins from the "Fountain of Love". Little did she know, the person whose coin she stole will fall in love with her until she returns the coins to the fountain or to their original owner.

Of course, this gives rise to ridiculous characters coming out of the blue and stalking Beth. We have a self obsessed male model, an artist, a sausage manufacturer, and a crazy magician (Jon Heder). Misinterpreting one of the coins as Nick's, Beth does not allow herself to take advantage of the "spell" she believes he is put under and keeps resisting his advances, despite having genuine feelings for him. With both intense work pressure and four stalkers at her back, she must return things to normal and perhaps obtain the man of her dreams.

I liked the whole idea of the "spell/trance" when she takes the coins, as these body swap style films (Boy Girl Thing, Freaky Friday etc) usually appeal to me. Here though, the choice of stalker characters cause the film to verge onto cringe, especially with the self obsessed male model who is purely excessive. 

However, there are lots to like in this movie. Firstly, the locations in this film are stunning and very well chosen. Although the Rome segment is rather minuscule, the shots back in New York are fab; the use of the Guggenheim (the same place where Betty gets her braces taken off in Ugly Betty) makes this movie so much more classy. 

There were some genuine laughs here and there- mostly when Beth runs into things, squeals or breaks something. Note the "pitch black restaurant scene". There were quite a few chuckles to be found in the beginning of the film during the wedding, though after the stalkers appear, those laughs were more cringing, though not entirely nonexistent.

Kristen Bell- Beth
Josh Duhamel- Nick
Also stars Jon Heder (crazy dude from Just Like Heaven), Kate Micucci and Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies).

Kristen Bell does well looking fantastic throughout the whole film, whether she's smashing a vase or running away from stalkers. She definitely does look good in low cut blue fluid dresses- she's worn quite a few in the film! There seems to be great chemistry between her and Josh Duhamel, though the star of the whole film of course is Bell.

A nice cameo surprise from Lee Pace, looking good- though playing an insubstantial part. Jon Heder is perhaps a bit wasted given his part, though he plays it with that same ghostly demeanor he had from "Just Like Heaven".

Minus the cringe-inducing stalkers, the film has everything else that makes it a good rom-com. Kristen Bell does a great job as Beth and provides most of the genuinely funny moments of the movie. It isn't a movie I absolutely adore, but will surely warrant a second watch. There are more positives than negatives and if you are a rom-com sort of person, this will perhaps be for you.

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