When In Rome
Bell plays Beth, a gorgeous New Yorker unlucky in love (because, we've never seen one of those before), who heads to Rome for her more impetuous sister's wedding to a man she has known mere weeks. Once there, she runs into Duhamel's bumbling but charming Best Man and the two instantly hit it off. When Beth mistakes a harmless moment between the Groom's cousin and Duhamel as something else, she gets plastered and heads to the nearby fountain of love, and nicks some of the coins within, thrown by the romantically retarded. After heading back to New York, she's followed by those whose coins she took, and they'll each stop at nothing to be with her. But did Duhamel throw in a coin, or is he genuinely mad into her?
Wearing its big silly heart firmly on its sleeve, the filmmakers and cast knew exactly what kind of material they were dealing with here, and just set about having fun with it. Coming from playing an uber-bitch in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Bell in particular shines as the sweet centre of the film. Productions of this obviously slight ilk depend heavily on their stars, and she lights up the screen with that gorgeous smile at ever given opportunity. While Duhamel's affable presence compliments hers, as opposed to overshadowing it, and the two make for a cute couple.
When it tries too hard to be funny, it's generally through supporting players Heder, Shepard and Arnett - who all fail to raise so much as a chuckle between them. Danny DeVito's surprising appearance as another suitor works well enough though, and there is a nice moment at the end that shows the veteran can still turn it on when needed.
Of course it's all highly derivative and inherently clichéd; but When In Rome has charm, sparks and tries to do nothing more than be a sweet little date movie. Which it certainly succeeds at.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 15th October 2010 | DVD review
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