We get three acts of labored slapstick wrung from an eye-roller of a premise.
Adam Markovitz - Entertainment Weekly
It lurches along, making Ms. Bell and Mr. Duhamel look duller than they need to.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Though not as ultra-cliched as its title, When in Rome follows the predictable conventions of the genre.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
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.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
Do as the Romans do. Drive around it.
Janice Page - Boston Globe
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.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Comedies require precision, and there's none here; instead, characters and scenes bash into each other with no evident purpose or logic.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
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.
Mary F. Pols - MSN Movies
The movie lacks invention and true magic in the worst way.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Josh Duhamel plays the smitten sports reporter who helps Kristen Bell mount her big art show, "Pain"-a fitting title, given the agony induced by this godawful comedy.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
When in Rome is a rom-bomb.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
Kara Nesvig - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A brainless, fizzy, romantic-comedy fairy tale with a roster of acting talent far beyond expectations.
Tom Long - Detroit News
When in Rome plumbs new depths for ineptitude in acting, directing, writing and every other department.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
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.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
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.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
Laremy Legel - Film.com
In the case of When in Rome, oh to do what the Romans used to do: Toss the bloody thing to the lions.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
When in Rome may fall flat in places, but at least it hasn't had all the personality manicured out of it.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
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.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A bunch of eager performers troll for laughs that never come.
Stephen Farber - Hollywood Reporter
It's all exceptionally predictable and disappointingly laugh-free, especially since anything with Arnett -- one of the funniest around -- is typically worth the price of admission.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
My kind of romantic comedy. It's funny, a bit silly and doesn't try to set the new standard for romance in the genre. It's exactly what you expect, but in a good way.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Most of the troubles come from the painfully unfunny shenanigans of Beth's magic-stricken admirers.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
When in Rome never delves deep into anything, but whisks us through the conventions of romantic comedies so quickly there's barely time to groan.
Sarah Sluis - Film Journal International
- Dark Horizons
Dave White - Movies.com
[Bell] carries a classic presence and charm that is tough not to like. Yet, at the same time, she does so with a little spunk and sass.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
...we are expected to suspend our disbelief and accept that the adorable Kristen Bell needs some sort of crackpot magic spell to attract suitors.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
You know from the start of Mark Steven Johnson's silly, sunny romcom how it's going to end.
Marc Lee - Daily Telegraph
Number of record-scratch jokes? Three. Number of walk-into-a-lamppost gags? Two. Number of laughs? Take a wild guess.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Despite its over-the-top zaniness, this romantic comedy manages to keep us entertained with its starry cast and a nutty plot. If only the filmmakers had resisted the urge to exaggerate both the humour and the sentimentality.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
This Italian-themed romcom is not quite the most unspeakably-patronising-to-Italy film of all time. That prize belongs to the musical Nine, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. But it runs a very close second.
All you need to know about When In Rome is that it was written by David Diamond and David Weissman, who perpetrated the atrocity that was the Robin Williams-John Travolta 'comedy' Old Dogs.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Ladies, here's a chick-flick best enjoyed with your eyelids actually glued together.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
On the up side, it has a decent cast, but class acts like Anjelica Huston aren't given enough to do. And Danny DeVito has to say awful lines like "There's not an emotion on earth that can't be expressed through sausage."
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
This is nothing more than a throwaway comedy clumsily assembled from a half-decent idea.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
When in Rome is watchable enough, albeit in a cheesily inept way, but is far less magical than its storyline.
David Aldridge - Radio Times
It's all a bit of harmless froth and nonsense -- as long as you're not too disturbed by the sight of DeVito chasing Bell around the Guggenheim like Benny Hill on Viagra.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
A witless realization of a promising supernatural premise suggests that a few people involved with the movie don't have a particular talent for it.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
...the movie boasts a seriously underwhelming premise that ultimately negates the good will established (and perpetuated) by its stars.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
When I saw the trailer for When in Rome I laughed like crazy. I wish the movie were as funny.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
This appealing, fun pairing gives the film some promise--that is just as immediately shot to hell once the big plot hook/gimmick kicks in.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Josh Duhamel as the romantic lead is an underdeveloped cardboard cut-out and, more generally, the film's simplistic emotional foundations never let it really connect.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
I'm not cynical about hope, just the way that romantic comedies exploit it, without necessarily delivering. When in Rome does that to a large degree, even basing its conceit on a wishing well, the ultimate exploitation of hope.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
It manages to be reasonably fun, kind of funny and just a little charming, and will be fine to watch with your Disney rom-com loving kids on DVD.
Giles Hardie - Sydney Morning Herald
Succeeds only in displaying Bell's lack of comic flair.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel are attractive enough but they can't elevate this seriously silly rom-com.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
As with most romantic comedies, this misunderstanding could have been resolved with a simple question, but instead the film stumbles along towards its predictably happy conclusion.
Alicia Malone - FILMINK (Australia)
Never mind that the script is far fetched. The plot, the characters and the dialogue - individually and as a whole, simply do not work. The ideas fall as flat as a squashed sausage, and that includes Danny DeVito's sausage king
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Despite the surfeit of cliches and apparent lack of any original thought in this hopelessly contrived rom-com, it remains a reasonably amiable exercise.
Dominic Corry - Flicks.co.nz
A silly, preposterous romantic comedy that benefits from Josh Duhamel's self-assured likeability, which helps a thin script that relies on pratfalls not brain power.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
The scenery is dull and the romance is a boring ride--neither the places nor people offer much to write home about. Aimless and ambling along, this is a rom-com that seems totally random.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
The only reason this isn't the worst romantic comedy in recent memory is that this reviewer also had to review the recent Sandra Bullock disaster All About Steve.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
'When in Rome' is a brainless mess of silly characters doing stupid things on camera. Everyone involved should be completely embarrassed.
Frank Wilkins - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
... about as Italian as a can of Chef Boyardee ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
With Rome it's the same old song and dance.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
Mark Steven Johnson exhibits neither an eye nor an ear for comedy - he must have been deaf and dumb to agree to shoot a script by Davids Diamond and Weissman, the duo who penned the execrable Old Dogs.
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
Be very wary of a movie poster that features a winsome blonde biting her pinkie. That's the primary lesson learned from this wretched rom-com in which cutsey nail-nibbling is supposed to be seductive.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
It's not as bad as it appears to be from the trailers.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Two good looking lead actors but they show substandard acting skills; in truth the sketchy script gave them little with which to work.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Instead of being booked into theaters, 'When in Rome' would be a better fit for one of the Eternal City's apocryphal vomitoriums.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"When in Rome" was the freshness that the romcom genre needed.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
The dialogue isn't funny and the filmmakers no nothing about comic timing. Has no one heard of Mel Brooks?
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
When in Rome needs every ounce of its leads' twinkly appeal to keep us engaged.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Despite the appeal of its co-stars, this romantic comedy is undermined by over-the-top performances from some of its actors as well as the movie's frantic pace.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Alas, bright and breezy are nowhere to be found here. Neither is comedy.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Beside the two actual laughs in the film, the cast helps to pull this from the doldrums %u2013 but not far.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Last time I checked, films had plot, characters (and character development) and, if nothing else, some semblance of a purpose other than to make money. Such is not the case here. At all.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
...its main interest lies in figuring out just why people like Peggy Lipton and Don Johnson came out of the woodwork to play parts with practically no lines ..
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It's sort of totally cool how Kristen doesn't call the cops when Will Arnett is chasing her through Central Park or Napoleon Dynamite breaks into her apartment. Because we girls know that stalking really is how men show their affection!
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
This will gnaw at many a critic, but the estrogen-infused target audience will eat both actors up.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Sweet, romantic and genuine, When in Rome, which features a consistently charming Kristen Bell, is certainly fluff, but it is very entertaining and enjoyable.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
A romantic comedy without much to offer in the way of character, conflict, or canoodling.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
One step forward for Kristen Bell, one giant leap backward for womankind.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
All it has is contrivance -- a central one that makes no sense whatsoever, and a whole mess of sub-contrivances that seemed to have been added to the script to make it almost add up to an hour and a half.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
Teen-appeal actors disappoint in stereotypical romcom.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
There's so much wrong with David Diamond and David Weissman's plot that, with a nod to the Guggenheim Museum's spiral ramp, it's hard to know where to begin.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
A movie that is partly romantic and slightly funny, but mostly idiotic and predictable.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
a solid romantic comedy in every regard and avoids being the standard entertaining 'chick flick' by being very enjoyable for both sexes.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
We're not talking Because I Said So bad, but at least Couples Retreat bad.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
What you get with When in Rome is a surprisingly good romantic comedy.
Matthew Razak - Examiner.com
Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel are so funny, quirky and appealing I'd love to root for them in a good romantic comedy, but When in Rome isn't it.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The forced misunderstandings, clumsy attempts at comedy, and late-third-act turnarounds are so absolutely rote and graceless that not even the charm of the poor actors consigned to this eye-roller can lift the movie out of its grave.
Dezhda Gaubert - E! Online
It may fall apart in the end, but this is a movie that won't let its audience get bored.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Even in the avalanche of terrible Hollywood romantic comedies, this one is particularly inane.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Despite the considerable charms of stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, When in Rome doesn't quite work, in either the love or laughter departments.
Cathy Jakicic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The screechy Bell has the delicate charm of a scraped blackboard; the dully handsome Duhamel looks like a Land's End catalog come to fitful life.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
If someone taught classes on how not to make a romantic comedy, When in Rome would most certainly be one of the examples they would use.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Please, Gods of Love, make this movie disappear.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
When in Rome operates on the assumption that if three coins in the fountain are good, five should be that much better. Alas, three was plenty...
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
one of those romantic comedies that's compelled to spell everything out for its audience at 10 minute intervals
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Johnson doesn't know how to sell funny, so he plays everything in the most obvious, siren-wail fashion, deploying an atrocious supporting cast to volcanically ham it up while Bell blinks and fidgets and Duhamel plays confused convincingly
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Entertaining, full of laughs and, as far as chick flicks go, is a sweet, romantic trip worth taking for audiences so inclined.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Notice the ads don't proudly proclaim, 'From the writers of Old Dogs'
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
A weak rehash of Love Potion No. 9, with Love Potion No. 9 replaced by crack.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
The director of 'Ghost Rider' and 'Daredevil' tries to make us laugh on purpose for once -- and fails badly.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
To call this movie a crappy romantic comedy wouldn't just be a slight against crappy romantic comedies, it would be an insult to crap.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
An exceptionally strong cast makes this fantasy romantic comedy trifle pleasantly watchable despite its chick-lit conventions.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
A romantic comedy of such staggering ineptness that it actually makes one wish the filmmaker would redirect his attention back to the superhero genre he sullied.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Veronica Mars would scoff at a movie like When in Rome, and understandably so.
When in Rome is even worse than this year's first romantic comedy offering, Leap Year.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Kristen Bell, in the silly romantic comedy When in Rome, has the wry perkiness of a 20-something Sarah Jessica Parker, and you sit through the movie wondering what she might do with better material than this.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Alone among the cast, Duhamel overcame the drivel. He's not in that many scenes but if the film has any bright spot, it's Josh.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times