When in Rome will Cure Your Broken Heart

There aren’t a lot of RomComs I would watch twice, but this is one of them: When in Rome is a romantic comedy about two people, played by Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, who’ve taken some serious hits in their personal and professional lives respectively. If you’ve ever had your heart broken so badly you wanted to give up on love, this film is for you.

When in Rome (2010): Directed by Mark Steven Johnson; running-time 1h 31mins. ; starring Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Josh Duhamel (Life as we know it, Safe Haven), Angelica Huston (The Addams Family), Alexis Dziena (Nick and Norah’s infinite playlist, Fool’s Gold), Dax Shepard, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Just like Heaven), Danny DeVito (Twins).

What’s it about? While in Rome for her sister’s (Dziena) wedding, a hard-working New York art curator (Bell) who is unlucky in love steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love and is thus aggressively pursued by a band of suitors (Shepard, Heder, DeVito, Duhamel). But could one of them be interested in her for real?

What’s it really about? Being afraid to fall in love again once your heart’s been broken.

Pick if:

  • You’ve been unlucky in love and aren’t feeling too optimistic about your romantic future
  • You’re looking for a fun romance to watch with your significant other or your girlfriends
  • You’ve ever thought about stealing coins out of a fountain. According to this film, it’s a terrible idea
  • You like films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 27 Dresses
  • You like movies that are set in New York City: When in Rome takes its audience to some of the Big Apple’s greatest hot spots, among them Central Park and the Guggenheim museum
  • You’ve ever had dinner in the dark: The scene where Beth and Nick go to a pitch-black restaurant (typically they are operated by visually impaired waiters) is spot-on about the awkwardness of the experience

Most memorable quote:

Beth’s Dad: Honey, you cannot learn from my mistakes. You’re going to have to go out there and make your own. Now, you could get your heart broken or you could have the greatest love affair the world has ever known, but you’re not going to know unless you try.
Beth: But what if there was a guarantee that you’d never get hurt?
Beth’s Dad: Baby… the passion is in the risk.

Most memorable scene: To get away from the spell-bound suitors that have interrupted their dinner date, Beth and Nick take a late night trip to the Guggenheim museum, Beth’s favourite place in the whole world. While standing in front of a painting of Marie Therèse, a woman who had an ill-fated love-affair with Pablo Picasso, Beth confesses that she has never had much luck in love and that she is scared to get hurt again, to which Nick responds by assuring her that his feelings for her are real and the two of them share their first kiss.

Magic Music Moment: After Stacy steals the coins Beth meant to give back to the love-struck gang of suitors, she must find her friend before she throws them away. Realising that to love someone means to put their needs before your own, the men give her a lift to the exhibition she curated where she knows she’ll find Stacy. As they race through the Manhattan traffic in a comically tiny Italian car, Matchbox 20’s “How far we’ve come” is playing.


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