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Rated PG-13 · 91 min. · 2010

Comedy, Drama, Romance
It’s not so much watching the really awful movies — your Transformers, your G.I. Joes, your Saws of the world — that are the real downside of reviewing movies. No, those movies are at least awful enough to get me indignant; the ones I really can’t stand, the ones that make me want to pry my eyes out with a melon baller, are the forgettable mediocre films that fill up the bulk cinema screens. They’re not quite awful enough to be interesting and nowhere near being good enough to be memorable even a month from now. And with that, Mark Steven Johnson’s When in Rome is exhibit A. A couple of good enough leads, nary a funny moment outside of a couple chuckles, all wrapped in your standard romcom formula. This isn’t to say the movie doesn’t try to be perfectly awful with a certain amount of gusto (I mean, c’mon, Jon Heder’s in it), but the best When in Rome can ever manage is the spectacularly humdrum. Single professional female Beth (Kristen Bell) meets hunky Nick (Josh Duhamel) in the quaintest of ways. Complications pop up, and Beth becomes wary of Nick, but a reel or two later she warms up to his manly charms and falls for him. Other, more significant complications crop up later, all of which are resolved in time for the big romantic climax of the film. It’s paint-by-numbers romantic comedy and the cinematic equivalent of being in a vegetative state.
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Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Writer: David Diamond and David Weissman
Producer: Rikki Lea Bestall, Gary Foster, Andrew Panay and Ezra Swerdlow
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Kate Micucci, Bobby Moynihan, Danny DeVito and Anjelica Huston


When in Rome


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