During one of my dad’s work-related trips, my mom and I had a fun outing, and as part of it, we went to see this during its theater run. I came out of the theater thinking it was “okay,” but by no means did I adore When in Rome. Now available for home viewing, I think after a second watch, it does grow on me.
When in Rome (2010) Film Review
Beth (Kristen Bell) is a hard-working young woman who consequently has become the youngest curator at her firm. All that is well and good save for her lack of luck when it comes to love. Her former boyfriend dumps her because she’s too devoted to her work. Her boss, Celeste (Anjelica Huston) expects perfection from Beth on their next event. When her sister, Joan (Alexis Dziena) announces her engagement – to an Italian whom she met a mere two weeks ago but claims he’s “the one,” Beth has not choice but to leave her job for a 48 hour trip to Rome.
There she meets, Nick (Josh Duhamel). As the best man, he seems to be of the same mindset as Beth, and after a piece of advice from dad, she decides to be open to the possibility of love, which backfires on her. Spontaneously, she grabs four coins from the
Fountain of Love in defiance of the goddess overlooking the fountain, and returns home to her quiet life. Disbelieving this ancient myth, Beth is surprised, when she is suddenly overwhelmed with not one, not two, but five gentlemen in pursuit of her!
I really cannot find too much to complain about in this movie. It’s sweet, romantic, funny and romantic (did I mention this!?)… and, well, you get the idea. It takes a few liberties from the usual way of romantic-comedies, which can either be a total flop or make it work. In this case, it really wasn’t one or the other, but somewhere in-between.
For the most part, When in Rome is endearing. And I like that about it. It has a kind of innocence all too often absent from this
genre. Some of the responses can be really sappy, but that is really a part of its appeal. It’s meant to be foolish, which it is, and sometimes in abundance. The entire premise does open the door to some mild forms of magic, and what it inspires can be a little creepy. The guys whose coins Beth removes from the fountain are all odd and yet I can appreciate why this is, and obviously there is only one guy we root for Beth to end up with.
Bookending the film in Rome adds a great deal of spontaneous romance. Much of the movie did film on location, both in New York and Italy, which helps set the mood. Beyond just the giggles, the leading couple is quite adorable together. (Seriously, Josh and Kristen have some really good sparks, even provided this isn’t your top-notch romance; they’re just too cute!).
In my initial impressions, honestly, I didn’t love this one (which did surprise me). A re-watch or two later, and I do find it quirky in a delightful way. With time, I do think I can now say it has become one of my favorite feel-good flicks. Sometimes, I crave something silly that doesn’t require I engage too much brain power. When in Rome meets – and surpasses, those requirements.
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You can find When in Rome (2010) digitally on Amazon Video‘When in Rome’: A Silly but Magical Romantic Comedy. Kristin Bell and Josh Duhamel co-star in this #romcom! #FWArchives #Movies #Reviews #FunnyMovies #FeelGoodMovies Click To Tweet
Content: This is actually really clean for a PG13-rating. One of the “suitors” likes to strip his shirt off to display his “beauty.” A painting of a nude Beth briefly appears on the side of a building. Nude sketches are evident when someone flips through a sketch book. After their first date, Beth and Nick make it to his apartment where they progress to making out. We see Joan and her husband kissing and flirting in the nude; nothing graphic. There may be some other winking sexual references. A wedding finds a lot of people drunk, including Beth who takes an entire bottle outside and continues to drink. Other instances depict drinking.