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When in Rome (2 stars)

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When in Rome

(PG) 87min

A potentially fluffy romantic fantasy is stretched far beyond breaking point in Ghost Rider writer/director Mark Steven Johnson’s When In Rome, in which career-fixated, romantically unlucky New Yorker Beth (Kristen Bell) picks four coins out of a magic fountain in Rome, thereby attracting the attentions of four deeply unsuitable men.

With sausage-obsessed businessman Al (Danny DeVito), pretentious artist Antonio (Will Arnett), magician Lance (Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder) and exhibitionist Gale (Dax Shepard) all in tow, Beth returns to NYC to complete an exhibition at the Guggenheim museum for her boss Celeste (Anjelica Huston), while also finding herself the object of the affections of sincere, hunky Nick (Josh Duhamel). The mind-bogglingly obvious dilemma Beth faces is: which of these men is Mr Right?

With the outcome never in question, When in Rome’s running time is given over to excruciatingly contrived slapstick involving an overqualified cast, with Bell and Duhamel striking few sparks and Huston and Don Johnson lazily phoning in their underdeveloped roles. Yet despite unremitting silliness, a jolly end-credits dance number is the only time the cast seem to be enjoying themselves; even in such lightweight fare, wish fulfilment shouldn’t have to be this dull.

General release from Fri 25 Jun.

Official Trailer

When In Rome

  • 2 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 87 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Written by: Mark Steven Johnson, David Diamond, David Weissman
  • Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston

A potentially fluffy romantic fantasy is stretched far beyond breaking point with this feature about a career-fixated, New Yorker who picks four coins out of a magic fountain in Rome, thereby attracting the attentions of four deeply unsuitable men.

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