Swanner: A new screwball comedy When in Rome arrives in theatres just in time for Valentine’s Day. It tells the story of a women (Kristen Bell) who takes five coins from an Italian fountain known as the fountain of love, but now the men who threw the coins are now madly in love with her and follow her back to New York. This film asks its audience to suspend a lot of disbelief but as silly as it is it was still likable.
Judd: Suspend disbelief? The movie asks it’s viewers to take their disbelief and completely chuck it out the window! I went into this movie with some glimmers of hope. I like Kristen Bell and I like looking at Josh Duhamel. I was looking forward to seeing the beauty of Rome and Dax Shepard’s body (who knew?). When Anjelica Huston stepped onto the screen, my heart soared — but was then trampled by a foolish story, and 15 minutes of a styrofoam fountain built on some studio backlot decorated to look Rome-esque. The rest of the movie takes place in New York. I didn’t know ‘When in Rome’ was supposed to be a question.
Swanner: As I mentioned the film is fashioned after the 30’s screwball comedy. You will have the wacky characters and the silly storyline but I will agree that at times it was hard to not throw up your hands and race to your car. It does actually have a very impressive cast. Danny Devito, Will Arnett and Jon Heder are three of the men pursuing her along with Duhamel and Shepard, so you have to wonder what they saw about the film that got them on board.
Judd: I know the movie was fashioned after a 1930’s screwball; in fact I kept waiting for one of the Marx Brothers to show up or Anjelica Huston to get a pie in the face. But the fact remains that it’s a lazy script that explains everything away through really, REALLY convenient coincidences. Like the fact that all the coins she pulled out of the fountain belonged to people in NYC. Or the fact that she lost the showpiece for her exhibit at the Guggenheim but that’s OK because Josh Duhamel, a sports writer, just so happens to have a never-before-seen piece of work lying about his apartment.
Swanner: Yes, it was missing Margaret Dumont with pearls and a pie. I must admit that when the film burned on screen an hour into the film and you turned to me and said “even the projector can’t handle another minute of this movie” I understood where you were coming from. The film is likable on a very basic level (basic level means either too drunk, stoned or dumb to question) so for that audience they’ll have a good time. For everyone else…rent 27 Dresses.
Judd: No Stars