Starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. Rated G. Opens Friday, January 29
When In Rome centres on yet another workaholic go-getter, a junior art curator named Beth, played by the Gossip Girl herself, the passably charming Kristen Bell. She seems to have been manufactured by the Pretty Blond machine, but somehow Beth has always failed to find appropriate suitors. That changes, sort of, on a jaunt to the Eternal City—glimpsed only at the beginning and end, mostly in second-unit shots—for the wedding of her sister (Entourage’s seemingly anorexic Alexis Dziena).
There she meets the bridegroom’s pal Nick (quite likable Transformers veteran Josh Duhamel), an ex–football star who also reads a lot of books and is kind of clumsy. Ah, the perfect man! Of course, Beth misunderstands Nick’s intentions and goes to a local fountain that legend says will find you love with whoever threw coins in its water. She plucks five random coins and, rather remarkably, they all appear to have been tossed there by American men who live in New York City and are already there when she goes home a day later.
Four are certifiable nut cases. Dax Shepard, Jon Heder, and Will Arnett play young narcissists, while Danny DeVito is a “sausage king” who wants her to sample his bratwurst. (Also cashing their paycheques quickly are Anjelica Huston, as Beth’s hard-ass employer at the Guggenheim Museum—which must have also needed the money—and Peggy Lipton and Don Johnson as our heroine’s divorced parents.) The fifth guy under her spell is Nick, naturally, and the rest of the movie is devoted to Beth’s attempts to disprove the validity of his amore, and the stupidity of everyone else’s.
You, dear reader, can benefit from the main lesson I learned here: don’t throw your coins away.