Touchstone Pictures bills "When in Rome" as a product of "the studio that brought you 'The Proposal.' " While factually accurate, this is like saying the movie was filmed with actors, using a script, a dolly grip and lots of lights, like "Ben-Hur."
Certain scenes in "When in Rome" signify nothing less than the death of screen slapstick, but I'm hoping it's one of those fake-out movie deaths where slapstick's not really dead, not forever.
The deadliest scene involves headliners Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel on a date, stumbling around a Lower Manhattan restaurant that serves its patrons in complete darkness and a complete lack of funniness. After all, the "When in Rome" screenwriters gave us "Old Dogs" last year.
Beth, our heroine, is a tightly wound Type-A career-is-everything woman (daisy fresh, that character type), cursed by crummy luck with the menfolk. She's the brightest young curator at the Guggenheim Museum. In Rome for her sister's whirlwind wedding, Beth drunkenly scoops out of a magic fountain a handful of coins tossed in by lovelorn tourists who become Beth's enchanted stalkers, smitten without knowing why. These suitors are played by Danny DeVito (encased-meats impresario), Dax Shepard (would-be male model), Jon Heder (street magician) and Will Arnett (painter). That's one coin more than "Three Coins in the Fountain," for the record.