Sunday, July 17, 2011

When In Rome

Starring Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel

I didn't want to like "When In Rome". I am a notorious anti-fan of the Romantic Comedy genre. I find that for the majority it's overrated, overdone, and creates all sorts of false expectations about things like the ideal partner, how life in general is supposed to happen, what it takes to be happy, and (most importantly) how life is never complete without that 'special someone'.

The film opens with Kristen Bell portrayed as a talented, but unfulfilled, lonely and jaded art curator. It attempts to be unique. Through a series of events, Bell's character finds herself in Rome, drunkenly picking coins out of the Fontana di Amore (which, ironically enough, doesn't even exist, but is supposedly based on the Fontana di Trevi). "We wait our whole lives for some perfect guy to come in and sweep us off our feet. Well, guess what? He's not coming! Each one of you [the coins] is a desperate wish for love that is never going to come true."   Needless to say, through a lot of shenanigans and hijinks, Bell and Duhamel end up falling into each other's arms and it's all hunky dory at the end of the movie.

What I liked about it: The comedy. This is actually what got "When In Rome" some of its worst reviews. Rotten Tomatoes says "A pair of young, attractive leads can't overcome When in Rome's reliance on unfunny gags and threadbare rom-com clich├ęs." On that same site, it has an overall rating of 3.4/10. For some reason, what they hated the most is exactly what I liked. Maybe it's because I am so regularly against the rom-com genre that I enjoyed the cheesy slapstick that much more.

What I didn't like: Exactly what you'd expect. The schmaltz. I don't do sappy and I don't condone the overabundance of films ending with the happy couple metaphorically or literally riding off into the sunset to a happily-ever-after. It's overdone. It's cheesy. And it's causing hell for a lot of women who don't have the self-reliance to realize that reality is not a Nora Ephron movie.

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