Verdict: A disappointing dud
The most intriguing thing about this romantic comedy is how it managed to attract such a good cast. Veteran actors Danny de Vito and Angelica Huston appear, as do comedians Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, and Will Arnett - none of whom manage to nail a laugh.
Out front though, are relative newcomers Kristen Bell as Beth, an ambitious New York art curator and Josh Duhamel as sports journalist Nick. They may be capable of leading roles but they do not bring out the best in each other in this outing. What When in Rome lacks in comedy, it also fails to deliver in romance.
It's not entirely Bell and Duhamel's fault, as what is a relatively simple story has been made into a frenetic, long-winded escapade that doesn't give the characters any time to connect. So when we're delivered the standard romantic comedy misunderstanding that drives them apart, we're not even convinced they're together. In fact, When in Rome overdoes misunderstandings in general.
There's nothing here a short conversation couldn't clear up, but Beth is too busy on the run from a group of wacky suitors. Placed under a spell, these guys are convinced they are in love with her after she stole their coins from a fountain in Rome where people wish for love. All this, of course, makes it difficult for her to develop her relationship with Nick.
This could have been a cute idea, but in failing to execute it with conviction it all falls flat and comes across as plain old cheesy. Laughs are few and far between.
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Running time: 91 mins
Rating: PG (sexual references)