Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When in Rome

After an unnecessarily awkward beginning, When in Rome started sucking a lot less! I guess that's not exactly high praise, but when you have read reviews that set your expectations so low, they're in the basement, you often end up pleasantly surprised.

That's really what this blog is all about, I guess: enjoyment via managed expectations. That and embracing the pleasurable part of guilty pleasures.

Enough of that. I'm pretty sure no one even reads this blog but I probably don't need to incorporate our raison d'ĂȘtre into every post.

When in Rome is supposed to be about the dumped single girl, Beth, disrupting a magical, love-enchanted fountain and a bunch of guys fall in love with her as a result while she also finds herself falling for someone after being closed off and broken-hearted. What it was actually about was Kristen Bell being dressed up and adorable while she navigated being stalked and nearly groped by said entranced men. Creepy!

Danny Devito was the standout love-stalker because he was so unexpected and awesome, but he was also the creepiest, and not because of the age factor either. Anjelica Huston stuck out for being Anjelica Fucking Huston and she's awesome, obviously. What the hell was she even doing in a movie with Fergie's husband? Yes, Josh Duhamel was the love interest. Bell's real life beau, Dax Shepard, was a self-obsessed model, stunned with his ability to suddenly be in love with anyone (almost) as much as he loved himself. Jon Heder played the same character he always does (Efren Ramirez even had a small part, just in case you could ever forget his and Heder's association) and Will Arnett had a bad fake accent which...seems to be par for the course for him.

Every other character could have been played by a cardboard cutout for how much they were utilized, which was especially sad in the case of Alexis Dziena who can ditz and crazy around like no one's business. Dziena's role as Beth's younger sister Joan was justifiably not that prominent, but I was happily surprised by her presence.

Anyway, the love story was cute but not sickeningly so. The ending was completely predictable if you are at all familiar with how movies work, but the rest of the movie leading up to the inevitable ending was pleasantly diverting without being nearly so obvious.

I was watching this with friends, which automatically made this a better time, but I wouldn't have been mad if I spent the half an hour watching it by myself. I wouldn't seek it out to watch again, but it's good for a single-serving time killer.

The verdict: don't pay to see it, probably don't even bother to dvr it, but if you come across it and there's no better Jennifer Lopez or Kate Hudson romantic comedy on right then...go for it!

- Lanie

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