When in Rome | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

When in Rome

A magical set-up can't save this feeble rom-com

Mark Steven Johnson's romantic comedy is saddled with a very, very silly twist. The bright and beautiful Beth (Kristen Bell) has no luck with men. (Even though she's the "youngest curator at the Guggenheim"? Unthinkable!) At her sister's wedding in Rome, she meets another New Yorker, the funny and handsome Nick (Josh Duhamel). But then -- oh no! -- she sees him kissing another girl. It's a basic artificial hindrance -- the hottie is his friend's sister or something equally harmless -- but then the film gets cumbersomely magical. Gloomy Beth plucks several coins from Rome's Fountain of Love, thereby causing the four hapless coin-tossers -- sausage magnate (Danny DeVito), bad magician (Jon Heder), male model (Dax Shepard) and painter (Will Arnett) -- to become crazy infatuated with her. And Beth thinks genuinely love-struck Nick is among the possessed. The would-be Beth-mates chase her all over NYC in a series of increasingly unfunny set-pieces. You'll be dying just to fast-forward to the inevitable conclusion.

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