Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick Look Early Review: When in Rome (2010)

Kristen Bell is cute, but cute doesn’t carry a movie, especially one like When in Rome which has a script that was seemingly written by an ersatz rom-com robot (actually it’s worse, the writers of Old Dogs) capable of only creating dialogue and situations that play slightly better than clanging pots and pans together for 90 minutes. It’s a painfully unbelievable and unlikable story about a career woman (Bell) who takes coins from a fountain in Rome which causes the previous owners of the coins to fall in love with her (all of the coins were thrown by New Yorkers, coincidentally). The way the character is written and performed, magic would be needed to fall in love with her. She’s incredibly annoying, as are the men who follow her around in a lovesick haze, the rules of which change according to the whims of the filmmakers. These men are played by Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Danny DeVito, John Heder, and Dax Shepard, likeable performers, but their likability is drowned in the mush. Most incredibly, someone tricked Anjelica Huston into appearing in this mess. Don’t ask me how. The movie makes no sense and proceeds from one hopelessly unfunny moment to the next, inspiring nothing but pure hatred that I could direct towards the screen. It’s shot without distinction and directed by a seemingly uncaring Mark Steven Johnson who previously made superhero movies like a bland Ghost Rider and an okay Daredevil (yeah, I kind of liked that one). Even he is slumming here. Everyone involved deserves much, much better than this, especially the audience.

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