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6 Degrees Entertainment

'When In Rome'
(Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2010 / Touchstone)

Overview: An ambitious young New Yorker (Kristen Bell), disillusioned with romance, takes a whirlwind trip to Rome where she defiantly plucks magic coins from a fountain of love, inexplicably igniting the passion of those who threw them in: a sausage magnate (Danny DeVito), a street magician (John Heder), an adoring painter (Will Arnet) and a self-admiring model (Dax Shepard). But when a charming reporter (Josh Duhamel) pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is the real thing?

DVD: 'When In Rome' is, I think, meant to be a flat out comedy, but it just doesn't work on so many levels. Kristin Bell plays an art curator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. She is a determined young woman, eager to excel in her job and try to please her uptight boss (Anjelica Huston). She learns her younger sister is getting married in Rome; she flies there and meets the best man (Josh Duhamel). While there, she takes five coins out of the Trevi Fountain, and naturally males living in New York threw in all five coins.

When she returns home, she realizes she has captured the love of the five men and can't concentrate on building the relationship with the man she wants (Duhamel). So an endless parade of four whacked out guys (Danny DeVito plays the Sausage King, Dax Shepherd plays a model who likes to rip off his shirt to admire his body, Jon Heder plays a magician and Will Arnett plays an Italian artist) tries to get closer to Bell and, as a result, makes her life more difficult. But who does the fifth coin belong to?

The biggest problem with 'When In Rome' is the uneven nature of the film. Bell seems to be playing it straight, trying to create a real character, someone who might actually exist. Despite a brief moment of slapstick comedy at her sister's wedding, she just isn't funny. And the four men chasing her are just so off the wall; they don't match Bell's character or the tone of her performance.

Worse, they aren't even funny. Shepherd's stick seems to be that he rips his shirt off at any opportunity and wants people to look at him. Arnett is a forlorn artist who has one of the worst wigs I have ever seen. DeVito seems to think saying "Sausage King" is enough to make his character funny. And Heder just does magic tricks and tries to appear mysterious.

Later, the actor who played Pedro in "Napoleon Dynamite" pops up as Heder's assistant/ videographer. I'm sure someone somewhere thought this was a great idea, but it is just strange. Late in the film, Pedro pops up again and kind of winks at the camera.

Josh Duhamel is the most innocuous thing in the film. But as the leading man, should he be that forgettable? He was recently credited saying he would welcome a return to the television soap "All My Children". Hmmmmm ...! [TH] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Deleted Scenes
Music Videos
“Starstruckk” and “Stupid Love Letter”