When in Rome a 'Rom-Bomb'

Flat romantic comedy not as fun as it sounds, say critics
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2010 8:06 AM CST

(Newser) – The makers of When in Rome didn't do as makers of good romantic comedies do, say critics in mostly negative reviews.

  • Kristen Bell stars as a workaholic New Yorker besieged by suitors after plucking their coins from a Roman fountain, but the movie's not even as "mildly fun" as that premise might sound, warns Adam Markowitz at Entertainment Weekly.

  • The movie "lacks invention and true magic in the worst way" and is even short on Rome, writes Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune. Many of the Roman scenes were filmed in New York, he notes, which could be why "the key Roman fountain scenes look like a gussied-up corner of Toronto."
  • Bell's co-star Josh Duhamel "has the timing of a broken watch" in this "rom-bomb," Carrie Rickey writes at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Claudia Puig is a bit more charitable at USA Today: When in Rome is a predictable genre movie that goes a little too heavy on the slapstick, she writes, but the "higher-than-average dose of chemistry" make it worth watching.

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