When in Rome

Release Date: January 29, 2010

I think a lot of people could get behind that dress as a big positive.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
118/123 David Mumpower Even I don't love Kristen Bell this much.
187/190 Max Braden Wow, that plotline was actually offensively stupid. Not to mention the lack of any chemistry. Cheers to mockery of Criss Angel, though, I guess.

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Kristen Bell takes her first stab at rom-com-leading-lady-dom this summer in Disney’s When In Rome. You might remember director Mark Steven Johnson’s name from the credits of such gems as Daredevil, Elektra, and Ghost Rider. A tagline reading “From the visionary writer of Daredevil, Elektra, and Ghost Rider” might not bring crowds into the multiplexes, but Bell (she of television’s Veronica Mars fame) seems poised for a breakthrough similar to what we saw happen for Amy Adams with 2007’s Enchanted.

Bell stars as an unlucky-in-love real estate agent who finds herself inexplicably hounded by would-be-suitors after stealing coins from a magic fountain in Rome. The casting for the film seems inspired, as said suitors include Danny DeVito, John Heder, Dax Shepard, and BOP favorite Will Arnett. Mr. Fergie himself Josh Duhamel plays Bell’s love interest, a reporter who may or may not be caught in the spell of the magic coins.

When In Rome could be a nice return to form for Mark Steven Johnson, who was known for penning the screenplays to Grumpy Old Men and Simon Birch (bizarre Jim Carrey cameo aside) before ruining his good name making mediocre superhero films. Duhamel (surprisingly good in the criminally over-looked Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!) looks to be a box office non-factor, even though his last movie (a little film called Transformers) did rake in over $700 million worldwide.

Bell has great momentum coming off of last year’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and if the Mouse House has anything to say about it, she could very well be a bona-fide box office draw by this time next year. (Bobby Darling/BOP)

Vital statistics for When in Rome
Main Cast Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel
Supporting Cast Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Kate Micucci, Bobby Moynihan, Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston
Director Mark Steven Johnson
Screenwriter David Diamond, David Weissman
Distributor Touchstone Pictures
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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