‘When in Rome’
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel
Rating: PG-13
Grade: ?????

Don’t blame “When in Rome” stars Kristen Bell or Josh Duhamel — it’s the plot that reeks in this over-worked pile of stink. All romantic comedies follow the same pattern with the lead couple: initial attraction, miscommunication, a kiss, more complications, near resolution, another complication, reunion and resolution. We know it. We expect it. We still pay 10 dollars to see it. But “When in Rome” makes this formula glaringly obvious, unrealistic and painfully laborious.

Bell plays a career-driven curator at the Guggenheim who doesn’t believe in love. Enter Duhamel at her sister’s wedding in Rome and sparks fly, but a stupid complication makes her think he’s not genuinely interested. She plucks five coins from the fountain of love, “saving” the poor souls who still believe in the emotion. But — oh no! — they fall under her spell instead. Those minor roles played by Jon Heder and Will Arnett add moments of genuine comedy to a film written by people who clearly lack any imagination. Oh, right — they wrote “Old Dogs.” Enough said.

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