This year, America ’s new sweetheart Kristen Bell (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” TV’s “Veronica Mars”) lights up the screen with two consecutive comedies both from Touchstone Pictures – "When in Rome" and “You Again.”
First, in “When in Rome,” Bell stars as an ambitious young New Yorker, Beth who takes a whirlwind trip to Rome where she defiantly plucks magic coins from a fountain of love, inexplicably igniting the passion of those who threw them in. But when a charming reporter (Josh Duhamel) pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is the real thing?
Beth is a young curator at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan , and “she’s a ‘gallerina,’” says Bell , “which is a term I’ve learned for young women who run any sort of gallery. It’s sort of a high-pressure job, which is why she’s always so frazzled.”
And her life is about to get even more frazzled, thanks to a wedding, some champagne and a few magic coins, says Bell . “My character goes to her sister’s wedding in Rome and has one too many glasses of champagne. She ends up wading through a fountain, gathering coins.”
What she doesn’t know is that the coins belong to people who’ve wished for love, and are now magically inclined to pursue the woman who holds their coins. “When she gets home, these suitors start to come after her. They’re madly in love. There’s a lot of chasing, a lot of running in heels,” Bell explains.
“Kristen is incredible, an amazing actor,” says director Mark Steven Johnson. “I have never worked with anyone like her. I really felt like you could build a whole movie around this girl, and it was really exciting.
“The script was originally written with Kristen as more of the straight person, reacting to all these funny guys, but she’s so funny I kept giving her more to do—more physical comedy—because she really has the ability in a way I haven’t seen in a long time,” beams the director.
Danny DeVito, Will Arnett, Jon Heder and Dax Shepard were called on to pursue Bell ’s character with a little more zest than the average love story. “It was almost too much of a good time,” says Bell . “I sometimes could not stop laughing on set because they’re all so funny.”
Up next, Bell stars in Disney’s “You Again,” a comedy that proves no matter how old you are, you never get over high school. Bell plays Marni, a successful PR pro who heads home for her older brother’s wedding and discovers that he’s marrying her high school arch nemesis, who’s conveniently forgotten all the rotten things she did so many years ago. And, to make matters worse, Marni’s mom recognizes the bride’s highfalutin aunt as her own high school rival.
Both distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, “When in Rome ” opens across the Philippines in March, to be followed by “You Again” in November.