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Feb 08th
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WHEN IN ROME

film_romeOnce upon a time, Josh Duhamel had a featured role in a popular soap opera which earned him a legion of female fans. Kristen Bell also has her share of devotees after recurring roles in three cult TV series. These combined crossover viewers will be the principal audience for When In Rome, the silly, but harmless romantic comedy in which Bell and Duhamel co-star. Written by David Diamond and David Weissman for director Mark Steven Johnson, it's a typical story of impossibly beautiful people destined to be together who nevertheless keep throwing roadblocks in the path of love. Bell stars as Beth, a junior art curator in New York City (at the Guggenheim, no less), who's given up on love. At her kid sister's wedding in Rome to a man she's only known for two weeks ("That's not even enough time for a credit check!"), Beth seems to hit it off with best man and fellow New Yorker, Nick (Duhamel), until she (mistakenly) thinks she's been played. At a so-called "Fountain of Love," into which tourists pitch coins in hopes of finding amore, Beth, Grinch-like, purloins some coins.

Back in New York, she's suddenly pursued by the lovelorn folks (all male, as it turns out) whose coins she stole: an ebullient Italian artist (Will Arnett), a goofy street magician with delusions of awesomeness (Jon Heder), a narcissistic male model (Dax Shepard), a gnomish sausage manufacturer who calls himself a "curator … of encased meat" (Danny DeVito)—and Nick. Sorting out true love from the spellbound kind film_when_in_rometakes awhile, but along the way there's some cute dialogue ("I don't know whether to look at you or my own reflection, that's how beautiful you are," the model tells Beth), sight-gags (including a midget Italian "clown car"), and references to other movies, especially the goodbye scene in The Wizard of Oz. (Although a Napoleon Dynamite gag featuring Heder and former co-star Efren Ramirez, and the Slumdog Millionaire dance finale feel completely gratuitous.) Other comedy bits are beyond stupid (a dinner date in a pitch-black restaurant is crashed by all four of Beth's suitors in night goggles), while director Johnson, best known for comic-book action movies, depends too much on tedious slapstick. Still, powered by Bell's perkiness and Duhamel's likeable ease, this movie is like a fizzy Asti Spumante: sweet and insubstantial. (PG-13) 91 minutes. (★★1/2)—LJ
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Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

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