When in Rome Reviews
The problem is not the credulity-stretching script. Or even that much of the movie just isn't all that funny. The problem is that it thinks it's freakin' hilarious.
Duhamel throws around his raffish, real-guy charm, and Bell works a springy cynicism that When in Rome eagerly tries to strip away. But regardless of where its stars want to take it, all roads here lead to blandness and inanity.
On this simple, sheeplike level, the thoroughly average When in Rome qualifies as almost a complete success, except in its requirement that we go along with some business involving hocus pocus.
All in all, Bell and Duhamel (gee, that rhymes!) are not tearing down any barriers, but it's clear that they're having fun and their chemistry is palpable. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing them team up again.
Bell, a petite, pretty blonde, may or may not have the Meg Ryan-Julia Roberts-Sandra Bullock goods. When in Rome, a leaden variation on that rom-com recipe, fails utterly to make her case.
Bell and Duhamel may have something as a romantic onscreen pair but there's no telling. What's going on around them is both distracting and annoying, thanks to the hyperactivity of the oddball suitors who tend to suck all of the chemistry out of the room.
The saving grace of the otherwise generic product is that Bell's vivacity and Duhamel's rakish charm allow the viewer to root for them, even if sometimes that rooting goes so far as to wish the script would serve the couple better than it does.