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New thriller, romantic comedy hits theaters

January 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Forget the Olympics or the Super Bowl there's another new game this winter: let's try and beat "Avatar." "Edge of Darkness" and "When in Rome" enter the fray this week to take that box office challenge.Mel Gibson returns from a seven year hiatus in front of the camera to star in the thriller, "Edge of Darkness."

He plays a tough Boston detective who's investigating the death of his activist daughter.

At first, everyone thinks he was the intended target. But he investigates the shooting on his own, and uncovers his daughter's secret life.

This leads to layers of corporate and political cover-up. "Edge of Darkness" also stars Ray Winstone and Danny Huston and is rated-R.

On the other end of the scale, we've got a PG-13 romantic comedy.

"When in Rome" stars Kristen Bell as an unlucky in love woman who heads to Italy for her sister's wedding. Josh Duhamel is the best man at the wedding and sparks fly between the two. But a misunderstanding upends their romantic moment, and that leads her to impulsively jump into a local fountain of love.

She pockets several coins from the alleged good luck monument and that sparks a curse: those who tossed the coins in the first place are now hopelessly in love with her.

A quartet of unwanted suitors follow her back home to New York. Josh's character also follows her back to the Big Apple and she has to decipher real love, from a magical spell.

Now a quick review of "When in Rome." This one's basically for young women. Josh Duhamel is completely charming and Kristen Bell is very likeable.

I'm not crazy about how the storylines involving the men under her spell are played out, but there is humor there. The best stuff, though, is between Bell and Duhamel. If you're looking for a little fluff, you've found it.