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Room in Rome

4.0 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One room. Two women. Infinite possibilities.
Like the erotic classic Last Tango In Paris, the new drama Room In Rome is a controversial, boundary-breaking film about two women who bare their bodies and their souls during one memorable night in a hotel in Rome. Writer-director Julio Medem (the international smash hit Sex & Lucia) returns with this provocative tale of Alba and Natasha. Two strangers meet, tentatively flirt and then head to Alba s hotel room where they exchange life stories amidst passionate bouts of love-making.

The stunning actresses Elena Anaya (Pedro Almodovar s Talk To Her, Sex & Lucia) and Natasha Yarovenko (Diary Of A Nymphomaniac) unflinchingly expose their deepest desires: the two women grow increasingly honest emotionally the closer they get physically. Certain to be a landmark in cinematic sexuality, Room in Rome is a serious and sexy foray into uncharted territory.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Elena Anaya, Natasha Yarovenko, Enrico Lo Verso
  • Directors: Julio Medem
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EI2NM2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,703 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Gross on January 13, 2011
Format: DVD
I was a huge fan of Julio Medem's small but exquisite oeuvre already, but Room in Rome easily made it into the top five of my all-time favourite films (where it competes with Medem's Sex and Lucia (Unrated Edition)). What, you may ask, makes it so special?

First the set-up - a one-night encounter in a hotel room, which the camera never leaves except to peep out onto the balcony or through the entrance of the room into the corridor. This would work brilliantly in a very small theatre as well. The basic idea is borrowed from a Chilean movie (En la cama) with a couple of very important tweaks. Medem turned the man of the first movie into a woman, and he moved the room to Rome, and embedded it in Italian art history. There are paintings on every wall and even on the ceilings, which play an important part in the movie.

Alternatively, to relate it to a better known movie, one could call it an all-female "Before Sunrise" set indoors and in a different city. In one rollercoaster night the protagonists get to know each other and learn to trust and love each other.

So in that room, we have two women, not too many clothes, lots of art, and modern IT equipment enabling them to show each other their outside lives via Google Earth. Oh, and a splendid view from the balcony over the roofs of Rome. (One could have called it Room with a view, had the title not been taken by some other movie.)

Let's get the clothes issue out of the way first, as it seems to have scared UK distributors to an extent that they didn't give the film a chance in the cinemas.
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Format: DVD
... though it'd be facile to say they're not appreciated. The two actresses are gorgeous and they play their sex scenes enthusiastically, but the real erotic content is to be found in their playfulness, their hesitation, their emotion. Sex is both entertainment and a bandage for the pain of their pasts and presents. If you're looking for pornography you'll be disappointed despite the profound sexuality of the film.

Both women find themselves initially unwilling to give their real names or pasts, substituting a cascade of lies in an effort to keep their distance. Over the course of the night, however, they become closer, the lies fall apart, and they find their emotions running away with them.

The bad: the character of Maximo is completely superfluous, adding nothing to the story but the male gaze and a moment of fearful discomfort that interrupts both the emotional and erotic content. The soundtrack repeatedly resorts to an increasingly annoying Italian pop song with vapid English lyrics. And, after an entire film firmly rooted in reality, the penultimate scenes make a sudden jarring and unnecessary switch to magical realism.

All in all: come to this film for the beautiful (and near-constant) female nudity, stay for the chaotic love story. It's not a masterpiece, but it's definitely one of the high points of the art erotica genre.
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Format: DVD
A movie about a lesbian and a curious scared female who join together one night to talk about the secrets and open up to a stranger. Early in the morning it becomes more difficult to part and yet both know it is the way it has to be. Awonderful movie with great acting, wonderful ambiance and a great direction. Highly recommend.
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I confess I've always wanted to be able to write the story of a relationship in compressed form and Room In Rome accomplishes this brilliantly. In summary it's simple: two women meet in a bar before the movie commences and we see them embark on what should be a simple sexual encounter. But then... half-truths, lies, full truths, sharing of painful past experiences, sharing present joys, the fear of developing love... it's all caught delicately. Every time we think the movie is going in one direction, there's a change of pace, tone and intention.

It would be very easy for a film like this to be pretentious but the light direction and sure-footed acting saves the day every time this risk appears to be drawing close. The two women fall in love, almost against their will, and so the morning comes to symbolize both rebirth and also the approaching of the pain of separation. Dawn is Alba's moment, and Dasha promises "I'll stay with you till the dawn, and then we'll say goodbye."

It's really difficult to manage the intensity of such a scenario, and the longing it involves, but the script and the cast succeed. When the Russian girl Dasha steps away from Alba we really do feel the pain of the moment. Perhaps the only two unrealistic components are (i) the empathy and sympathy each woman has for the other - in real life one or both would tend to cut away to avoid pain; and (ii) the silly "arrow in the heart" moment that visually depicts the heart-pain Abla feels.

Oh, and as the other reviewer has noted, after about the first two minutes we simply stop noticing the nudity of the actresses - the facial expressions, the movements of the hands, are all much more engrossing.
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