When in Rome

Out Now On-Demand

Ambitious young New Yorker, Beth (Kristen Bell), is in Rome for her sister's wedding. Disillusioned with love, she makes a wish in a "fountain of love" and magically ignites the passion of an odd group of suitors: a sausage magnate (Danny DeVito), a street magician (Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder), an adoring painter (Arrested Development's Will Arnett) and a self-admiring model (Dax Shepard). But when a charming reporter (Transformers' Josh Duhamel) pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is the real thing?

Despite the surfeit of cliches and apparent lack of any original thought in this hopelessly contrived rom-com, it remains a reasonably amiable exercise in generic mirth thanks principally to a likable cast.

As evidenced in the beloved, cancelled TV show Veronica Mars, lead Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) can display acting depth when necessary. The script for When In Rome makes no such demands on Bell, but she ably carries the film on her shoulders, projecting plenty of charm with only a small hint that she’s been genetically bred for films like these.

Handsome blockhead Josh Duhamel exhibits more personality here than as an action hero in the Transformers movies, but his shtick too often relies on him bumping into things.

Of the ‘whacky suitors’, Dax Shepard (er, Without A Paddle) gets the most laughs as an egotistically deluded male model, while Arrested Development’s Will Arnett pulls of a funny accent as an Italian artist. As a street magician, Jon Heder shows that he needs to stop relying upon Napoleon Dynamite-isms if he’s gonna sustain an acting career.

When In Rome marks a significant change of tack for director Mark Steven Johnson, who most recently helmed a couple of crappy superhero adaptations (Daredevil, Ghost Rider). He’s able to sustain a pleasantly whimsical tone for the most part, but the film crumbles under any sort of serious scrutiny.

Hollywood Reporter


The latest demonstration of the impossibility of making a good movie from a bad script is provided by When in Rome, a romantic comedy approved by the previous regime at Disney.

New York Times


There are dull stabs at verbal wit that leave you baffled, bored or slightly grossed out.

NZherald.co.nz (Francesca Rudkin)


A disappointing dud

Variety (USA)


Predictable but pleasant comedic fantasy.

Cool & super funny


Cool & super funny

come on ease up sure this movie was a tad predictable but it was very very funny as fer as rom coms go

Forgettable Rome...

Waffer thin storyline and highly predictable. If you want a night where you don't need to engage you brain, this is the film for you. This is a must watch on Dvd when you have NOTHING better to do.

God that was Sh*t

Saw this when carless on the north shore waiting for a repair at 9.30 in the morning. Seemed like the only thing without miley cyrus in it or percy jackson and the lightening thief.

Good concept for a romcom but SO POORLY EXECUTED! That script was absolute SH*T!

But, in saying that, i wasn't really surprised. Its a romcom, after all. The only redeeming features was josh duhamel - he was likeable, and kristen bell had her moments.

wait for dvd.