Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Premise: While attending her sister’s wedding in Rome, a career woman (Kristen Bell) removes four coins from a fountain of love and is suddenly pursued by four suitors who are convinced they are in love with her.
What Works: Despite all the things wrong with When in Rome, it does not appear to be the fault of the actors, who mostly appear to be competent.
What Doesn’t: When in Rome is intended to be a comedy but nothing in it is all that funny, in part because everything is predictable. The movie walks its way through romantic comedy clichés, from the cynical ice queen who has to be thawed by the affections of the leading man to the rushing-to-the-altar finale. The film tries to use physical comedy to break up the monotony but none of it is done very well and several scenes, like a disastrous diner scene and a car chase, seem like they belong in some other movie. As a romance, When in Rome fails because the film never adequately sells the love affair between the couple and there is nothing keeping them from getting together and living happily ever after.
Bottom Line: When in Rome is a mediocre comedy. It’s not even satisfactory as a disposable popcorn romance and is forgettable by any standard.
Episode: #276 (February 14, 2010)