x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

When in Rome

With its laughably contrived plot, this film completely fails as a romantic comedy.

AD201010708169974AR
AD201010708169974AR

For a rom-com, When in Rome falls rather spectacularly at the first hurdle, in that it lacks anything remotely resembling either romance or comedy. Add these major weaknesses to the laughably contrived plot (OK, I lied: there is something funny about the movie), and what you have is 90 of the most pointless minutes ever recorded on film. Kristen Bell - of Veronica Mars fame - stars as the successful Guggenheim curator Elizabeth 'Beth' Martin, whose love of the job has apparently prevented her from finding a husband. Cue the handsome journalist, Nicholas Beamon (Josh Duhamel), who falls for Beth at her younger sister's wedding in the romantic setting of Rome. Alas, the path to true love is never easy, and after misreading Nicholas' behaviour with one of the other wedding guests, Beth decides on the next best option: pocketing a handful of coins from the nearby fountain - all of which have been thrown in by a group of unrelated men wishing to find their one true love. As a result, Beth inadvertently attracts the unwanted attention of four men - one for every coin she takes - all the while trying to maintain a relationship with her journalist beau. Aside from the writer/director Mark Steven Johnson's obviously dated views on women, this movie is one disaster after another. But worst of all, in spite of the remarkably lazy plot, lack of characterisation, wooden acting and simplistic humour, When in Rome still manages to be completely forgettable.