Is it a step forward that we have rom-com heroines who are unlucky in love because they are too good at their jobs? Maybe? Can it never be Katherine Heigl again? Please?

In this installment in the genre, Kristen Bell plays Beth, a tiny, blonde, uptight curator at the Guggenheim who starts off by being dumped for the second time–publicly, and at a work event–by Lee Pace. She sort of goes to pieces, but, in fairness: ouch. To put the tin lid on it, her mean boss, Celeste (Anjelica Huston, about as wasted as she was on “Smash”), is mean to her about it. And everything else.

Then her sister decides to marry an Italian guy she met on a plane, and Beth has to fly to Rome to be in the wedding, where she meets and hits it off with the best man Nick (Josh Duhamel). Now, Nick played football for Syracuse and was hit by lightning during a game and is really embarrassed about being that guy. And this is how you know that no man was ever intended to see this movie, because that is actually awesome and frankly if you were Josh Duhamel’s size and recently played football for Syracuse that’s pretty much your best case.

Annnnyway. Then Beth sees some random woman plant one on Nick, and decides to get drunk in a Roman fountain and steal the coins from it. We’ve all been there. According to rom-com logic, this means that the five guys who threw the coins (Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Danny DeVito, Dax Shepard, and…Josh Duhamel) are now under a spell and in love with her. Hijinks ensue, following her across the Atlantic back to New York.

As a rom-com, it’s capably made. Kristen Bell is really, really charming. Kate Micucci, as her underling/friend, makes me want to spit nails, because she is a deliberate ruiner, but we’re not supposed to mind because she’s so cute and quirky. Barf. The ambient characters are, in fact, mostly caricatures–the philandering dad and constantly annoyed mom, the mean boss, the beer-swilling friend of the dude, the comical Italian priest, etc. And it has the annoying but apparently obligatory bits when the heroine does ridiculously humiliating things at gala events and/or weddings, because she commits to a small misstep and ends up in a disaster. You know, because people don’t just run and hide when that happens.

But, that said, it’s still pretty cute.

Notes:

  • I know Kristen Bell is small, but, like, she is comically shorter than Josh Duhamel.
  • John Heder’s character is a street magician, and Pedro is his assistant. It’s like being hit in the face by sophomore year of college, but in a nice way.
  • According to the bits of Rome we see, everyone in this movie has a kerfillion dollars.
  • Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love” usually weirds me out, but it is well deployed here.
  • The credits have a surprisingly cute dance sequence, so if you make it to the end, you should watch it.

Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Rating: PG-13
Length: 91 min.
Score: 2/5. Certainly no worse than most rom-coms, but also not better.

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