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When In Rome (2010) Print E-mail
Friday, 18 June 2010
ImageYikes!  Snooze alert.  Cliché.  Trite.  Predictable.  You pick whichever word you like best.  This film is straight from a cookie cutter.  It ranks just a notch above the disastrous "Leap Year."  Normally I am all for romantic comedies, but this one just fails to capture much of an audience.  It is hindered by a sloppy premise, a second-rate script and unimaginative cinematography.

"When In Rome" had some potential, particularly with Kristen Bell at the forefront.  Unfortunately, they had nothing to work with as the script was simply dull, with absolutely no hint of mystery.  Foreshadowing is a great feature in filmmaking, but it way too blatantly obvious in this film.  Subtlety is definitely the key with foreshadowing.

Some of might have this film figured out from beginning to end before even putting it into your player.  The rest will likely have it solved within the first five minutes.  The plot is simply this: a girl takes a selection of coins from the fountain of love in Italy during her baby sister's wedding, legend says that if you remove a coin form the fountain the person to whom that coin belonged will fall in love with you.  From there, Beth (Kristen Bell) returns to New York where four creepy and annoying guys have someone tracked her down and beginning stalking her.

As Beth goes insane she tries to have a normal relationship with her sister's husband's best man from the wedding, who also happens to live in New York.  Unfortunately, she finds out some news that drives her away from him.  Of Course, we the audience know better and it pretty much puts a nail in the coffin at that point in terms of how the film will end.
Speaking of which, the film's ending contains no surprises.  The filmmakers try to throw you a curveball, at least that is what it feels they are trying to do.  However, the audience picked up on a not so subtle foreshadow back at minute five of the film.  So, all this makes us think is how stupid can the characters be.  An infant could have put together the clues to this "puzzle."  It is not like the audience is privy to some behind the scenes information.  The lead characters know everything that the audience knows.

I'm sorry to rant on about this film, but it lacks complete ingenuity.  The only fun I had while watching this film was when a mini Italian car crammed with five people is driven crazily through the streets of New York during a citywide blackout.  Oh and there are the lovely moments when Kristen Bell is jogging through central park.

This Blu-ray has a video transfer that appears to be the standard for all romantic comedies.  The image has been wiped clean with some digital noise reduction.  However, it has been done rather well and the smearing is kept to a minimum.  Details and textures are largely lacking.  While the image remains relatively sharp the cinematography doesn't allow for any real details.  Close-ups of faces lack any real depth or texture.  The film has been largely post-processed.  Colors are highly unnatural.  For some reason the filmmakers thought this would make the image feel more like Rome.  Well it doesn't.  Fleshtones suffer the most from post processing, taking on a yellow hue.  The black levels are solid but contrast is overblown, especially in the high contrast areas.  I can't say that this video transfer is horrible, but it certainly just has an average romantic comedy look.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  There isn't much to say about this track either.  It is another typical romantic comedy audio track that doesn't sport much material.  Immersion is a joke.  The surround field is activate no more than a couple times with some chattering, glass clinks and applause during the wedding.  There might have been some slight surround activity during the lightning storm but nothing spectacular.  The dialogue is clean and clear, always well prioritized.  Everything else falls flat.  There is no dynamic range and whatever music score there was in the film is lost and utterly forgettable.  Very standard.  Very forgettable all together.

Sadly, the Blu-ray package contains better special features than the movie itself.  Exclusive to the Blu-ray is an alternate opening and ending, which are simply laughable, "Crazy Casanovas," which is a featurette about the set antics from the crazy cast members and "Extended Pain With The Suitors," which is a collection of extended scenes.  Not exclusive to the Blu-ray is a collection of bloopers and deleted scenes.  The Blu-ray also contains a couple music videos and a cast snippet in which they reveal the craziest things they have done for love.

That's all folks.  Good night.  I think you can guess that my recommendation is to skip it.

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