A fountain of love is something I would definitely be happy to come across. But as hopeful as a girl can be about finding one my expectations aren’t that high, so I will settle for watching a good romantic comedy about a fountain of this nature instead. Unfortunately after watching When In Rome I have been made aware that neither exists.
They say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Unfortunately for Beth she doesn’t really know what that entails. While visiting for her sisters impromptu wedding she fails to break the ceremonial vase, her speech is hindered by her total lack of Italian language skills, and worst of all, she doesn’t know the myth about a certain fountain. Legend tells that if a person removes a coin from the fountain, the person who threw it in will fall madly in love with the thief. And seeing as this is a romantic comedy, this legend just happens to be true. Now Beth must deal with four random strangers chasing her around thanks to her drunken mistake, as well as the possibility that the one guy she actually likes may be suffering from the spell as well.
Kristen Bell plays Beth, a girl who goes from having no hope for romance to being stalked by numerous adoring men all claiming to love her. These men include Will Arnett as an artist, Jon Heder as a street magician, Dax Shepard as a model, Danny DeVito as a sausage king, and Josh Duhamel as the “normal” guy. Clearly the movie is not lacking in comedic talent, yet it still falls flat because the story and script ask far too little of them. Each of the smaller male stalker roles is given one character point to milk for laughs with little room to move from this; and though the two leads are given slightly more, it’s not enough to make their characters all that complex either.
Because these characters are always doing the same things over and over, there is not a whole lot going on in the plot: Beth might like Nick, he might be under the spell, the stalkers randomly show up, she gives in to going on a date with Nick, the stalkers randomly show up, she is overwhelmed and runs away. Now do as the shampoo bottle says and lather, rinse, and repeat these basic plot points for an hour and a half. Even the ending is a repeat of something that happened a few minutes before, and by this time the plot is so stale that it has become hard to watch.
I don’t need a fountain of love to force me to love the actors in this film, but I can’t say the same for the movie itself. But seeing as one doesn’t exist, I am free to say that I don’t even want to like When In Rome as a friend.
Final Grade: D
PS – Someone please give Kristen Schaal a larger role in something because she has been popping up everywhere lately in the smallest roles (Modern Family, Valentine’s Day, Toy Story 3), making the most of her roles though she is given far too little screen time for what she deserves.