As the release date approached, it became pretty clear that this was not going to be a critical darling. I know, hard to believe right? I knew going in that it was going to be fighting an uphill battle, but I kept up hope that it would not be as terrible as so many wanted to believe it would be. I mean, I like some of the cast members and we can always use a decent romantic comedy. We get so few of them that we have to believe a good one is right around the corner. That leaves the million dollar question: is When in Rome a good romantic comedy or does it deserve the critical drubbing it has been receiving? Believe it or not, the answer is no on both counts.
Romantic comedies are not exactly bursting with high quality creative energy. It seems that they just scrape by on formula and chemistry of the leads. It is not often we get something like Definitely, Maybe or (500) Days of Summer. Granted, they may be a little light on the comedy, but they are very good films that prove the genre still has a little bit of life left in it.
When In Rome does not really reach very high. It does settle on formula. It does rely on star chemistry. No, it is not a very good movie. Still, I found myself enjoying it. The move is cute, the stars have decent chemistry, and I actually liked the story. This despite the fact it's underwritten and predictable.
Wow. Did I just admit that? Yes, I think I did. And you know what? I am not taking it back or apologizing. I will likely forget this movie in relatively short order, but who am I to say how I will react to it down the line? One of the things that makes movies interesting and worth watching, for better or for worse, is the way they make you feel in the moment. Movies cause emotional reactions and these reactions are not always logical or quantifiable. In this case, I found myself smiling while another part of me recognized that this did not make a lot of sense and was not written very well.