Movie Mom

Movie Mom


When in Rome

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Mild sexual references, kissing, suggestive nude painting (nothing shown)
Alcohol/Drugs:Alcohol, character gets tipsy
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence, reference to being hit by lightning
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 15, 2010

An exceptionally strong cast makes this fantasy romantic comedy trifle pleasantly watchable despite its chick-lit conventions. Kristen Bell is Beth, the (of course) supremely competent museum “curator,” who is so devoted to her work that she has never figured out the love thing. She is (of course) not just humiliatingly re-dumped by her ex (the always-engaging Lee Pace) in the middle of a big art gala but — just to make this a major chick-flick tragedy — she also breaks the heel of her boot at the same time. And she has a mean boss (Anjelica Houston). This officially makes her the Cinderella of the movie.

Enter Prince Charming, late and with a loud and inappropriate ringtone. That’s Josh Duhamel as Nick, who is some sort of sportswriter. And they meet at a ball, or close enough, the grand wedding of Beth’s sister to a gorgeous Italian she just met. No evil stepsisters here.) Maid of honor, meet best man. But Beth, all too ready to assume the worst about love, runs away from Nick as fast as her Louboutins can go, stopping to grab four coins from the Fountain of Love to show her defiance of all things romantic.

Enter the complication: it seems that if you remove a coin thrown by a man into the Fountain of Love, you become the object of his desire. So, back in New York and with the Big Gala coming up at the museum, Beth finds herself being something between stalked and chased by: Danny DeVito as the sausage king who sends her a basket of “encased meats,” Will Arnett as an artist who paints an enormous nude portrait of Beth on the side of a building, Jon (“Napoleon Dynamite”) Heder as a street magician who can make the audience’s patience and good will disappear, and Dax Shepherd as a guy who is unabashedly way too into himself.

There’s a lot wrong with this movie. Just for the record, I do not know what the people who made this film think curators do, but in this world party-planning for cultivation of donors seems to be Beth’s primary obligation. Anyone who works in any capacity at an art museum will have more edge and style to her clothes than Beth does, with a particularly unfortunate dress in the big denouement that looks like collision of two of the biggest fashion catastrophes of all time: the 1970’s and bridesmaid’s gowns. The movie promises much more humor from a tiny little car, some pratfalls, a confused priest, a museum exhibit about pain(!), a restaurant in the dark, the characteristics of the four suitors, and the entire premise than it delivers. But the deftness of Bell and especially Duhamel manages to make clumsiness seem a little romantic and rather sweet.



  • naoma

    I read a fairly good review of this movie so I went to see it. I almost walked out it was SOOOO BORING. If you blinked you missed the
    “ROME” part. The women were so thin their clothes hung off them like
    rags. The lead threw off her shoes as she entered the fountain — those shoes were Louboutin that cost between $800 and $1,000 a pair!
    Love interest was the pits. Anyhow, I would not recommend this piece
    of drivel to ANYONE.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I liked this one more than you did, naoma, but most of the critics felt the way you did. I was won over by Josh Duhamel’s character and if I didn’t laugh I did get a few smiles from it. Thanks for letting us know — this comment will be very helpful to anyone trying to decide if the movie is right for their family.

  • Nancy O

    Josh was definitely the highlight of the movie for me…and I think the shoes were the highlight of the movie for my daughter (go figure). Nell, you are sweet in your appraisal of this movie. I like most every movie I go to at some level, but I was really reaching here. Good thing kristen was sweet and handled herself well at all times—I thought it was good for my daughter to see how she let the guys down–and also how sweet danny devito’s character was in the end saying, “if we love her than we should help her”.
    Other than that—the theatre was near empty and I was able to check email once or twice without missing much. :-)

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Nancy! You identified the two deciding factors for me that pushed me into a B minus — Josh and the sweetness of the guys wanting what would make her happy. Glad your daughter liked the shoes!

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