If, like myself, you wanted to lash out irrationally and throw your shoe at the big screen when you went to see 'He's Just Not That Into You' (or the equally irksome 'The Women' for that matter), then stay away from this dull and infuriating rom-com - if not for your sanity, then for the safety of those around you.
'When in Rome' tells the played-out tale of successful career woman Beth (Bell), who has no time for romance in her hectic New York life (how original). However, when her little sister Joan (Dziena) becomes engaged, the poor man's Bridget Jones sets off for the couples' paradise that is Rome. After a series of disasters she meets smooth reporter Nick (Duhamel), who instantly falls in love with the workaholic and just plain annoying woman.
After years of being unlucky in love and married to her career, the slightly drunk Beth is left a bitter, mumbling fool when she disrespectfully takes coins from the city's magical 'Fountain of Love'. Little does she know that she has put the men who threw the coins in the fountain under a spell, and they will now do anything to win her heart (even if that means breaking into her apartment, which seems perfectly normal in the film). However, with one of the men being Nick, how will she know if his love is real or not?
'When in Rome' tries in vain to inject humour into its aimless script but ends up more cringeworthy than ever. It's like watching your Dad trying to be funny in front of your friends - awkward, but you give him a sympathetic giggle for his efforts. The old school gags, which the film falls back on, include people being shoved into each other and the clumsy lead getting lettuce stuck in her teeth, leaving you baffled as to what kind of person would like this movie, let alone find it humorous.
Although the supporting actors and possible suitors (DeVito, Heder, Shepard) for Beth help matters a little, I still found myself drifting off and thinking about what I'd have for lunch. The only thing that brought me back to Earth was the sight of Josh Duhamel (Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas' husband) on the screen. While his performance didn't leave me wishing I'd brought my iPod, it's a far cry from his role as Major William Lennox in the 'Transformers' movies.
Yet again, Hollywood has shown us that it can't (or perhaps won't) get to grips with the fact that women in the 21st century can have both a career and a life. If this is what a trip to Rome is like, it will leave you with a strong desire to stay as far away as possible. So 'When in Rome', do as the Romans do and throw this film to the lions before the brutal spectacle leaves you scarred forever.