Movie Monday: When in Rome

When in Rome has been in my Netflix queue, waiting for me to watch it instantly for about a month. It’s taken me that long to get the nerve up to watch it because I’ve been burned so often lately by romantic comedies ranging from disappointing (Leap Year) to abysmal (The Bounty Hunter).


This post originally turned into a very long tirade, the gist of which was “How hard is it to make a romantic comedy that is actually romantic and funny?” Apparently very, judging by the offerings lately. Then I decided maybe I was just too hard to please. Then I decided I wasn’t, but what pleases me isn’t necessarily what sells movie tickets.

When in Rome was cute, sweet and pretty forgettable. It reminded me of Simply Irresistible, where Sarah Michelle Geller makes magic food. It’s got the same sweet and unoffensive vibe to it, with a little magical realism riff thrown in–which pleases me but not everyone.

Kristen Bell is adorable as your standard Rom Com Career Woman Whom Love Has Passed By. She goes to Rome for her sister’s impulsive wedding, meets adorable Josh Duhamel, and they are totally adorable together. She also picks up five coins from a fountain of love, which, according to legend, makes the throwers of the coins fall instantly in love with her. Wacky hijinx ensue.

I liked both the leads, but their chemistry wasn’t the pop and crackle kind. They’re like that sweet couple in high school that are so right for each other that you can already see their volvo and trendy condo and their australian shepherd that they take to the park every Sunday. So, rather lacking in tension, but nice to look at. I wanted them to get together, I just never doubted it would happen.

The wacky went all the way up to the threshold of stupid and peered over. But Bell is just so likable, and she and Duhamel were just so darned cute together…

I guess that really sums this movie up. Unoffensive and cute. When it comes on cable, but it on one afternoon while you’re folding laundry or doing a crossword puzzle.

5 thoughts on “Movie Monday: When in Rome”

  1. I just don't think Kristen Bell was made to be a rom com leading lady. No offense to her but she's better in roles where she's the leader, intelligent, problem solving… like Veronica Mars. Her movies are just so so. Although I heard Forgetting Sarah Marshall is da bomb, just haven't seen it yet.


  2. Liana, I absolutely agree that she's MUCH more interesting in meatier roles, playing young women more in charge of their own destiny (where here the whole premise was basically the opposite of that). Though I think t the RIGHT romantic comedy could be charming. Look at Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby. She's anything but a bland, cookie cutter rom com leading lady. (Though not exactly leadership material, at least she's INTERESTING.) Anyway. Good point!


  3. I've completely given up on romantic comedies as a whole as a result of them just not being any good. I think I remember that I used to like them I just haven't seen one that I really liked in years. The thought of Buffy being the lead in a rom com is enough to make me laugh!


  4. Murphys… Yes, I keep given them chances, and they keep disappointing me. I actually had to google "romantic comedies" to even remember any that came out this year. And what they listed… not funny to me. But I have my favs on dvd, so that helps. 🙂


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