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World’s Worst Chick Flick Part 1: When in Rome

December 8, 2010

Today I’m starting a series in which I will search high and low for the World’s Worst Chick Flick. I’ll examine some of the more popular ones, make sarcastic comments about them, and explain why Hollywood is clueless about what people look for in romantic comedies. Women can feel free to disagree with me, and men can use these entries to explain why they shouldn’t watch these movies with their wives or girlfriends.

People really, really like to talk about love. Most of what has been said isn’t new, but people will say it anyway. What is said about women in most chick flicks can be summed up quite easily: There are two types of women looking for love—those who are uptight and have replaced love with a career, and those who are needy, obsessed with weddings, and will not be content until they have a man to make them happy. Scriptwriters must be smoking crack if they think this is the type of movie women want to see.

Enter: When in Rome. I’ll be honest and say that I really wanted to like this movie. I’ve had a girl crush on Kristen Bell ever since Veronica Mars and every time she comes out with a new movie I hope that it’s good. It usually isn’t. And this movie is just one example. Beth (Bell’s character) plays the first kind of chick flick woman—she’s driven by her career, afraid of love, and needs a man to loosen her up. Her little sister is getting married in Rome to a guy she’s known only two weeks. Beth’s reaction is that two weeks isn’t even long enough for a credit check (do people actually do that?). She flies to Rome after talking to her quirky sidekick friend* about it and getting all nervous about her boss and her job. WHAT will become of the ART SHOW she is in charge of??? THE DRAMA.

I bet you’ll never guess what happens when she meets the tall, dark and handsome best man at the wedding. Go ahead—guess. I’ll just tell you: They click. And you know they click because he says that he can’t believe the happy couple has only known each other for two weeks and that’s not even enough time for a credit check.

Oh my gosh, ya’ll. Match made in heaven. They both like credit checks.

I do like it when the short girls get tall guys...

But alas, there is a problem. Beth sees Nick kissing some girl at the wedding (oh yeah—the tall guy’s name is Nick and he’s played by Josh Duhamel). She decides to drink champagne and steal a few coins from the fountain outside the reception site. However, this is a magic fountain (I have one of those in my yard, but its only power is to make squirrels run fast and scare the mess out of me with their beady eyes). Each coin she takes makes the coin’s owner fall in love with her. Duh. Of course. So now she has random guys in love with her and you’ll never believe it, but they’re all super weird. Oh the hilarity!

The rest of the movie is spent with Beth fending off the other weird guys (Oh Danny Devito…why?) while falling in love with Tall Nick. She figures out that to get rid of the weird guys, she has to give them their coins back. But, SPOILER ALERT, one of the coins seems to have been Tall Nick’s! He doesn’t really love her, he’s under the spell of the Magical Fountain of Love!

Hey, remember that Very Important Art Show that Beth is in charge of? Well the main piece hasn’t shown up and now Beth is in trouble. Fear not, fair viewer, because Tall Nick happens to own a photograph that will save the day. Blah, blahk blah, lack of communication, blah, blah, blah…they get married after Beth realizes that the poker chip she got from the fountain didn’t belong to Tall Nick and he really loves her. The end.

What burns my biscuits** about this movie is that a situation that could have been solved in 10 minutes ends up taking weeks. This is actually the formula for most bad movies—lack of communication. Someone is upset but they don’t explain why and expect the guilty party to just know. It doesn’t work that way, genius.

Also, this movie couldn’t make up its mind about whether it wanted to be a slapstick or “feel-good let’s learn about love” movie. So instead you have Jon Heder dressed as a mummy falling from ceilings and then Beth’s dad giving her a heartfelt speech about taking chances with love. Make up your mind, people.

Is this the world’s worst chick flick? No, not really. They do make a cute couple and I laughed a couple of times. But this is definitely one of those movies that may have started out as cute concept, but was ridden off the rails by trying too hard to be quirky.

The search for the world’s worst chick flick continues…

*No chick flick is complete without the smart aleck best friend, often played by Judy Greer.

**That is Southern Speak for “makes me angry.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 3:30 pm

    GREATEST. SERIES. IDEA. EVER. Hetero males everywhere will sing your praises.

    Can I make one request though? RATE IT! I need a scale to understand how bad these movies are.

    Maybe The Notebook is a 1 and Remember Me is a 10?

    Undoubtedly, when I have to endure a chick-flick, I’ll be trying to quantify just how bad it is in my head, but if you do God’s work and rate it for me, I won’t have to look for nebulous clues like “Is Mark Ruffalo or Matt McConaughey in this?”

  2. December 15, 2010 2:34 pm

    I was the same going into that one. Bell, the illegitimate daughter of Rob, owned in VM and Heroes, and I was hoping she’d steal my heart like a surgeon. But alas, she did not.

    Your review resonates exactly with my feelings.

    Try watching The Bounty Hunter or Valentine’s Day. I’d love to see how it ranks on your scale.

    My guess, around a “Katherine Heigl”.

  3. December 28, 2010 4:49 pm

    Please add Leap Year and any movie with Katherine Heigl to your list.


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