In retrospect, I was way too kind with Leap Year. (Which was saved by its' lavish cinematography) The romantic movie pool has been a little limited lately. And I've tried not to be so cynical with the few new films coming out. But alas, I can hold my tongue no longer. Most of these "new" romantic comedies have an old, musty feel. Why is it that their predecessors made it look so effortless to convey romantic notions and ideas? Why were they able to make you laugh and cry simultaneously? And finally, Why do all these new movies fail to do so?
The Latin word "simulacrum" comes to mind. This comes from Plato's teachings that perfection is the idea, not the real. tangible product. This is how I feel about the majority of new romantic comedies. They try so hard to imitate this invisible list of formulaic laws. So much so, they lose sight of the actual project they are working on. Now that i've butchered Socrates and Plato's theory beyond repair, let's get to the point. Romantic comedies are getting lazy. And I'm dismayed to say that When In Rome, is no exception.
This film had a lot of promise, (as does any film shot in a beautiful location). Well, comparing Lubbock to other cities any city has a lovely landscape. But Rome is exceptionally spectacular. Full of history and culture, it's the foundation for most western civilizations today! In opposition to the title however, the bulk of the film took place in New York. Nothing against The Big Apple, but we've seen it hundreds of thousands of times.
None of that would matter if there was a solid script and clever direction. In stead, we get two promising lead characters, ( Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel) with obvious chemistry but no lines to deliver such an impression. There's also a string of co-stars that could have created comedic gold. But they were all put on the back-burner, simply to stand there and flinch as the production team handed them their scripts.
The story, in itself was somewhat original. I just found myself pursing my lips in confusion throughout. I felt as if they were searching for the perfect balance, but just couldn't find it. The film see-sawed back and forth - Romance or Comedy. There was a lot of promise for both but in the end, neither delivered.
The film didn't reek altogether. There were charming and entertaining moments, and once again it has the happy ending we're all rooting for. It's bubbly and it's sweet. But overall it had that old, familiar smell. The scent we're all to sick of inhaling.
So, When in Rome, do as the Romans do! Try everything for yourself. Just don't get mad when you threw too many of your hard earned coins into Touchstone Picture's fountain.
Alright Lubbock, if you dare:
"When in Rome" Showings: