When in Rome (2010 film)

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When in Rome
When in rome poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMark Steven Johnson
Produced byMark Steven Johnson
Gary Foster
Andrew Panay
Written byMark Steven Johnson
David Diamond
David Weissman
StarringKristen Bell
Josh Duhamel
Will Arnett
Jon Heder
Dax Shepard
Danny DeVito
Anjelica Huston
Music byChristopher Young
CinematographyJohn Bailey
Edited byRyan Folsey
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • January 29, 2010 (2010-01-29)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$28 million[1]
Box office$43 million[2]

When in Rome is a 2010 American romantic comedy film directed by Mark Steven Johnson, co-written by Johnson, David Diamond and David Weissman. It stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. It was released by Touchstone Pictures in the United States on January 29, 2010. Despite receiving negative reviews from critics, it was a box office success, opening at number three in the U.S. behind one other new entry and ultimately grossing $32,680,633 in the country against a $28 million budget.


Successful and single 29-year-old Beth (Kristen Bell), an art curator at the Guggenheim, is at a point in her life where love seems like a luxury she can't afford. Waiting for the "perfect" romance has embittered her. After flying to Rome to attend her younger sister Joan's (Alexis Dziena) impulsive wedding, she meets 27-year-old Nicholas Beamon (Josh Duhamel). He rescues her in a couple of difficult situations but they are both clumsy. Still, they hit it off.

As Beth comes to believe in love again, she sees Nick kissing another woman, who turns out to be the groom's (Luca Calvani) "crazy cousin." Slightly drunk and jealous at seeing Nick with another woman, she picks up coins (a poker chip, a rare coin, a penny, a trick quarter and a Euro) from the "fountain of love" (probably based on the Trevi Fountain). Joan tells her that legend says if you take coins from the fountain, the owner of the coin will fall in love with you.

Beth is pursued back in New York City by a band of pushy suitors whose coins she gathered, including a diminutive sausage magnate Al (Danny DeVito), lanky street illusionist Lance (Jon Heder), a doting painter Antonio (Will Arnett), and a narcissistic male model Gale (Dax Shepard). She must return the coins to the fountain to break the spell. As she falls in love with Nick, she realizes that the poker chip belongs to him and is convinced that he is under a spell, not truly in love with her.

Joan calls Beth on the day of a gala and tells her that the spell can also be broken by returning the coins to the original owner. Stacey (Kate Micucci), Beth's secretary, concerned about her, overhears the conversation and steals the coins. She believes that Beth would lead a better life with people loving her, regardless of the spell.

When Beth's suitors all show up together at her apartment, she tells them she does not love them and plans to return their coins. She also tells them of her love for Nick, but realizes that Stacey has stolen the coins. She sets off to retrieve the coins, aided by her suitors. All pile into a yellow Vespa 400 microcar, which careens through city traffic, into the Guggenheim and up an elevator.

Stacey returns the coins and Beth gives them back to their respective owners. Left with the poker chip, she calls Nick and thanks him for making her believe in love again. Nick makes his way to the gala to search for Beth in a sudden lightning storm that hits New York. There he happens to pick up his poker chip, dropped by Beth, and convinces her his love was true.

On Beth and Nick's wedding day in Rome, Lance tells her he had several poker chips, and Nick did not break out of the spell. While exchanging wedding vows, Beth hesitates and dashes out of the church. She revisits the fountain and wades in again. Nick appears and joins her in the fountain. He said he had never thrown a chip in. He drops a poker chip in the water, and the priest is heard yelling, "Free of temptation!" Beth finally believes Nick and kisses him.



When in Rome: Music Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album
Digital download/Audio CD by
ReleasedJanuary 12, 2010
LabelAtlantic Records
  1. "Starstrukk" by 3OH!3 featuring Katy Perry
  2. "Stupid Love Letter" by The Friday Night Boys
  3. "Heart Bling" by Sofi Bonde
  4. "Kickin' with You" by Jason Mraz
  5. "Something Beautiful" by Needtobreathe
  6. "How Far We've Come" by Matchbox Twenty
  7. "I Am Changing" by Mafia Bianca
  8. "Shine" by Laura Izibor
  9. "Honey, Let Me Sing You a Song" by Matt Hires
  10. "Hold On to Your Heart" by Tina Parol
  11. "Fox on the Run" by The Academy Is...
  12. "Pencil Full of Lead" by Paolo Nutini
Songs from film, but not on soundtrack

The telephone call scene features the song "I Am Changing" by the Los Angeles band Mafia Bianca LLC, written and produced by Simone Sello and Steven Heinstein.


  • Filming took place in Trafford, PA[3]
  • To promote the film, Don Johnson and Jon Heder co-hosted WWE's Monday Night RAW on January 18, 2010.
  • The 3OH!3 music video for "Starstrukk Remix" featuring Katy Perry was set around motifs seen in and clips around When in Rome, and the song was on the film's soundtrack.
  • The Friday Night Boys used clips from the movie in their music video for "Stupid Love Letter", which was featured on the movie soundtrack and in some of the previews for the movie.

Popular references[edit]

When Beth hands back the coins to Antonio, Lance, Gale, and Al, it is a parody of The Wizard of Oz, and Beth represents the Wizard giving each one something.[citation needed] Beth tells Gale that she will miss him "least of all". The line is a reversal of what Dorothy Gale says to the Scarecrow ("I'll miss you most of all") when she bids goodbye to him near the end of the film.

The plot of the film is the reverse of the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain about women in Rome who throw coins in a fountain and find love.

It is one of the films most shown by the Brazilian film program Sessão da Tarde since 2012, with its re-release airing between one and two months.[citation needed]


Critical response[edit]

The film has received negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 17% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 112 reviews with an average score of 3.41/10. The consensus states that "A pair of young, attractive leads can't overcome When in Rome's reliance on unfunny gags and threadbare rom-com clichés."[8] Review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average of 0–100 of the top reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film a "generally unfavorable" score of 25% from 24 reviews.[9]

Despite negative reviews, James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film a fair review of 2.5/4 stars, claiming, "The saving grace of the otherwise generic product is that Bell's vivacity and Duhamel's rakish charm allow the viewer to root for them, even if sometimes that rooting goes so far as to wish the script would serve the couple better than it does."[10]

Box office[edit]

The film was released on January 29, 2010, and opened at #3 with $12,350,041 in United States and Canada behind Avatar and Edge of Darkness. It opened in 2456 theaters, with an average of $5,029 per theater.[11] The film grossed $32,680,633 domestically, $10,362,202 foreign and $43,042,835 worldwide.[2]

Home media[edit]

When in Rome was released June 15, 2010, on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.


  1. ^ "When in Rome (2010)". The Wrap. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "When in Rome (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Fleming, Michael (2008-03-23). "Duo set for 'Rome'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  4. ^ a b c Borys Kit (2008-03-27). "Will Arnett joins 'Rome'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  5. ^ Bryon Perry (2008-04-23). "Alexis Dziena". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  6. ^ Borys Kit, Carolyn Giardina (2008-04-13). "Danny DeVito jumps into 'Rome'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-04-23.,
  7. ^ "Don Johnson's road leads to "Rome"". Reuters. 2008-08-10. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  8. ^ "When in Rome Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  9. ^ "When in Rome (2010): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  10. ^ Berardinelli, James (2010-01-29). "When in Rome – A movie review by James Berardinelli". ReelViews. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 2.5/4 stars
  11. ^ "Daily Box Office for Friday, January 29, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 29, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2010.

External links[edit]