REVIEW: WHEN IN ROME
SYNOPSIS: An ambitious young New Yorker (KRISTEN
BELL), disillusioned with romance, takes a whirlwind trip to
Rome, where she defiantly plucks magic coins from a fountain of
love, inexplicably igniting the passion of those who threw them
in: a sausage magnate (DANNY DEVITO), a street magician (JON
HEDER), an adoring painter (WILL ARNETT) and a self-admiring
model (DAX SHEPARD). But when a charming reporter (JOSH DUHAMEL)
pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is
the real thing?
REVIEW: Ah Roma! What a beautiful place. The history, the tradition, the culture, and the legends such as the one of the Fountain of Love which is the premise for this movie. And then there’s New York, ah New York, the capital of the world perhaps or at least the capital of romantic comedies. This movie gives you plenty of both but at a rushed rate which seems almost pushed or forced as if the movie makers were just trying to get across that yeah, we were there. Unfortunately, the acting seemed the same way. I was hoping for a fresh new perspective for the romantic comedy genre given that the cast is relatively fresh to romantic comedies but what you get is a weak, cookie cutter script, acting, and overall production. The movie was cute, sure, but it was too cliché. I know romantic comedies have little choice but to be cliché but this one made it too obvious. It lacked identity and character. The concept/storyline was a nice idea but it wasn’t carried out properly. The romance was underdeveloped about as much as the characters themselves and at some moments the comedy was just plain corny. It seems to me that this movie is going to rely on Kristen Bell to pull an audience and she will at first because she is a very attractive woman who has established popularity in the comedy world but I doubt that her pull will last long with this one. The rest of the cast will contribute to that initial pull because you’ve got some interesting names like Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Dax Shepard, Keir O’Donnell, Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston, and Josh Duhamel to name a few. But again, if the main characters are underdeveloped, imagine the supporting cast. You really don’t connect with anyone in this movie. It was too fast and too superficial. However, let’s give credit where credit is due. The casting was right on. Everybody was perfect for their role, except maybe Josh. I’m sorry but I just can’t help but associate him to the soldier in the Transformers movies. (Yeah that reminds me . . . I had that same feeling when Tobey Maguire did the role in Seabiscuit, a movie which I still refuse to see because I don’t understand why Spiderman has to be riding a horse). Not surprisingly, Jon Heder does a good job with his bizarre character. The bad news is that they make a reference to Napoleon Dynamite which was really unnecessary, cute, but unnecessary. Anjelica’s performance, although brief, was very nasty. It reminded me of Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada (not comparing, it just reminded me of it). One of the most entertaining characters was Gale played by Dax. He was arguably the best actor cast for the particular role. He was basically Zoolander but more egotistical. As you can imagine he had some of the funniest lines in the film.
Another credit where credit is due is for the filming locations which even though were rushed, they were nice choices. There was good use of the Guggenheim too. All I know for sure is that Priscilla would be salivating at these sights of two of her favorite cities in the world. This is only the fourth major motion picture direction for Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil, Ghost Rider). I see an indication that he might be better off sticking to superhero movies. Overall the movie was cute but you really have to be in the mood for it if you are to enjoy it, else, wait for it on video.
By Cine Marcos
MOVIE REVIEWS >>>
Submit Your Movie Review