Honestly, regardless of whether the portrayal of the Romulans in particular was bad (and I personally believe that it was), no-one's decisions in that film make any sense whatsover. That's a general problem with NEM. You might be particularly bugged by the fact that the Rommies helped the aforementioned pimply nerd become praetor, which is your right, but I think that everyone was portrayed like idiots....they're all over the place. This is not limited to the Rommies.
Which is the reason I believe that NEM is not a good film.
Popcorn cinema is one thing, but stuff has to even marginally make sense...and in NEM, it doesn't, at least to me. STXI made sense to me, which is why I like it much better. In the end, it is a matter of opinion.