Anyone else surprised to see the new poster for When in Rome, the Kristen Bell-Josh Duhamel rom-com in theaters Jan. 19, touting that it’s “From the studio that brought you The Proposal“? Don’t get me wrong: I liked The Proposal and understand why name-dropping it after the year Sandra Bullock has had could be smart. But real movie fans know that kind of “From the…” tout is typically reserved for directors, producers, and writers — the people who are truly hands-on — not studios that bring you all kinds of films. In the case of Touchstone, the live-action/adult-focused division of Disney, that does include recent well-received romantic comedies such as The Proposal and Sweet Home Alabama, but also titles as varied as Apocalypto, Wild Hogs, Step Up, and 2009’s Surrogates.
Am I being too hard on the marketing team? In its defense, Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel aren’t A-list stars, the writers are the duo who penned Old Dogs, and saying that the film’s from Mark Steven Johnson, director of Ghost Rider and Elektra, isn’t going to get them much (though, he also wrote Grumpy Old Men, which would’ve worked on me!).
It’s just that by reaching for “the studio that brought you,” they’ve made me more nervous than if they’d just stayed with the innocuous tagline “Did you ever wish for the impossible?”. Discuss.