Movie Review: ‘Room in Rome’ Features Lesbian Sex and a Bunch of Weirdo F*cked Up Shit

If you saw the trailer for Room in Rome

… you probably were like “omg, there’s so much lesbian sex in this thing i have to see it!” We thought the same thing.

However, if you saw the film Room in Rome in its entirety, as we did this week… you might wish you’d done some peyote first. Because this shit is whack!

According to IMDB, this is the “plot” of Room in Rome:

A hotel room in the center of Rome serves as the setting for two young and recently acquainted women to have a physical adventure that touches their very souls.

Although the characters change their names several times throughout the course of their soul-searching (I think) , IMDB declares that Elena Anaya (Sex & Lucia, Talk to Her, Van Helsing) plays “Alba”…

…Natasha Yarovenko (a bunch of movies in other languages that I haven’t heard of) plays Natasha:

… and Enrico Lo Verso plays this guy who is like the room service guy, but also a sort of sexual creepster and also at one point bursts spontaneously into song on the balcony and the song he sings was on the soundtrack of The Olive Garden when I worked there. I think.

Alba and Natasha meet and Alba brings Natasha back to her fancy hotel room for one night of passion and sexxxx.

Natasha: “This stays here, in this room, within these four walls.”

Alba: “But since we’re here, let’s have some fun, huh?”

Natasha: “All I ask is that this doesn’t affect my life.”

Lines from the film, transcribed at random:

“History is looking at us!”

“The gates are opening for us. Can you hear them?”

“So your name isn’t Natasha. I knew it.”

“The idea is that the artist must know at all times what he is representing.”

“I’d married him so I was his property,  like my horse.”

“Look at the beach, it’s full of people.”

“Never before in my whole life have I known a love like this. Are you sure you want to part. Forever?”

“I do not like the idea of anything masculine coming between us.”

Seriously you guys, this is like the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s not even exciting-weird, it’s like, occasionally-boring weird and sometimes uncomfortably emo.

Basically, this whole night of passion has WAY too many feelings in it. I’m surprised Natasha still considered Lezland a viable option after this night of psychotherapy.

But also there is sex and almost constant nudity! Including 69’ing!

People keep lying to each other. Nothing gets explained. We never know who to trust but also don’t really care. There are two girls and one or both of them keeps telling stories about their past and sometimes the stories aren’t true.

Something happens with Italian Renaissance art. There’s dramatic music, the kind that should fill a church but instead is layered oddly over lesbian sex montages and the two girls dramatically looking at a painting of cupid on the ceiling.

The blonde is an actress no she’s a twin no she’s a tennis player. The Lesbian-Amilie-in-Flannel has some issues with her parents or something. Or she is her parents. Idk. Sometimes she talks in Italian and the tennis player/actress talks in Russian. There are no subtitles. We just have to guess from their body language.

Alba is Spanish no she’s Greek. She was pregnant but she was a lesbian from birth who has never been with a man. No she has children and they are on her videophone. They are her girlfriend’s kids or someone else’s kids. No they’re dead.

Once they catch on to the fact that they’re both telling lies to each other, the REAL ADVENTURE BEGINS when the girls seek to verify one another’s tall tales by looking shit up on the motherf*cking internet.  Thank G-d for!

We wondered about product placement. They did a lot of shit on bing. Like a suspiciously large amount of shit on bing. At some point Alba is showing the girl the “palace” she used to live in when she was sold into a harem by her mother (don’t ask) on a google-earth type application. This eventually inspires Alba to cry because the picture on the google earth is “old” and from a year she did something something.

Natasha is getting married. She is the tennis player or the actress. They’re both  naked and we’re in the same room. Her husband was with her twin sister. She was with her twin sister’s husband or her husband cheated on her or her twin sister’s husband if she has a husband cheated OH LOOK THERE’S MY TENNIS COURT ON GOOGLE EARTH.

I’ve asked my viewing companion for her off-the-cuff review of this film we just saw and wrote down the words she said about it:

I slept through probably a good third of it. So that’s a good sign. Or a bad sign. But also I felt like there were too many feelings, like the way they would be suddenly talking about their really troubled childhoods and running away from each other and coming back and it was just too much. Too many feelings. Also? It really read like a porn. These people only have one night, and there’s no plot. The dialogue was sort of shallow. But also we didn’t hear a lot of things they said because there were no subtitles. So maybe those moments were crucial elements to the plot that would have tied it all together. I think I woke up when she had that symbolic arrow through her heart.”

In conclusion, I’d recommend smoking a TON of something before flipping on this masterpiece. I’d recommend not necessarily spending too much time trying to follow the plot. You could do homework or cuddle at the same time and just look up every now and then when they’re doing it.

In conclusion, they’re almost naked the entire time.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3197 articles for us.


  1. Yeah. I tried really hard to like this movie but it was insane. However just in case anyone still wants to watch it, it’s available om IFC On demand. Also, WTF arrow in the heart scene?!?

    • I didn’t even finish it really.. I was like BOOBS! YAY! and then halfway i was like.. fuck this.

  2. If after seeing this movie you are still unsatisfied with the amount of confusing plot lines and lesbian sex, go see Black Swan. You should see it anyway, but there’s lesbian sex and Natalie Portman masturbating which should really be all the motivation you need.

    • I knew about the sex scene and was excited about that but WATNATALIEPORTMANMASTURBATING!?!?! Yes. Please.

      • Oh man, it was glorious. Here’s how it went down.

        Natalie+Mila= daaaaaaaaaaaaang!


        • Okay you guys but you should also know that this movie may be WAY TOO SCARY for some viewers. Like, uh, me, and my girlfriend, who spent large segments cowering together with our hands over our eyes. Don’t get me wrong — if a really effective, harrowing experience is what you like in a movie, this is fantastic. But . . . I thought it’d be a little more . . . fun.

  3. Riese, the combo of disingenuity and snark had me smirking no I was snorting no there was an actual laugh out loud. Thank you, I needed that. Or someone else needed that who was me.

  4. Saw this a couple weeks ago. There were a few moments where i went “wait, what???” for sure, but all in all didn’t think it was quite as whack as Sex and Lucia.
    Also, theme song was OVERPLAYED, sorry. Like, Eyes-Wide-Shut-piano-theme-overplayed.

  5. Is it bad that I instantly thought that was “IFCFilms” for Ilene Fucking Chaiken Films? Autostraddle, you have brainwashed me.

    • SO DID I!

      I saw it and was like “wait, why the fuck did Riese watch something by IFC and expect it to be good? that seems out of character for her…”

      • oh never doubt my goldfish-esque habit of continuing to watch things by IFC and expecting them to be good

        • I kind of thought about that as I wrote this comment since I do the same thing with life in general, but I posted it anyways.

          Also, I just caught that Ani reference that I never would’ve even known about if it weren’t for the amazing fan club. <3

  6. Um, I’m learning Russian, this is about the decentest excuse I can come up with for letting myself watch this…

  7. So, you’re saying that David Lynch has struck again? It sounds like a bastard child of Blue Velvet or Mulhulland Dr. I agree with Riese that such films are better off seen heavily intoxicated because then you don’t care about such trivialities as plot or character development or language.

  8. I have a bookcase filled with approx 80 decade-old foreign-language VHSs that I can never quite get round to watching, but like with anything in life, you can always gloss over the dull bits by thinking of ladysex.

    But this film has inbuilt ladysex to go with the boring bits, so I can’t see how it can fail.

    • Yes I agreed withi this comment a seriously strange movie that twisted me up since I loved the sex – perhaps too lonely the night I watched it, but disliked the rest, freaky

    • ha! we actually saw it like 1-2 weeks ago, i just pretended like we’d just seen it because i thought it would make the review seem more “timely.” so i do not hold M’s facebook suggestion accountable, by the time that went up we had already seen that motherfucker

  9. “People keep lying to each other. Nothing gets explained. We never know who to trust”

    That basically sounds like daily life for a lesbian in Rome.

    I was never interested in watching this movie because I knew whoever set a lesbian story in Rome must be perverted / nuts / self-hating. I’m happy this article confirmed by suspicions (happy, I mean, because I’m spending less and less time in Rome).

  10. Its so horrible! Dont waste your money. They are naked all the time and its not even hot.

    The trailer rocks though.

    I was really looking forward to it, like:
    OMG OMG naked women! Sex! Sex! More sex! Naked! omg omg…can i pre-order it, when does it go on dvd…omg this must be so much better than those free porn sites, omg the brunette is hot. BOOBS.
    And then when I saw it I was like: WTF??? Must be the worst movie i have ever seen.

  11. It’s movies like this that make me wish they’d run a truth in advertising campaign just to see what happens. “Room in Rome: feelings are had and people are naked, stuff happens, it is what it is”

  12. I just pirated the shit out of this movie because I’ve nothing better to do on a Friday night.

    Anyway, even if I hate the movie, the OST’s already made my night. The first song is “Loving Strangers” by Russian Red, a Spanish band that needs to tour in the US more. Lourdes (the lead) stand a few lesbian fans. Her voice breaks my heart every. single. time.

    “Loving Strangers” –

    (personal fave) “Cigarettes” –

  13. okay so i need to know: that bing screenshot.

    am i the only one who thought, TRIPLE GEYSER WHAT DOES THIS MEAN

    … ok.

    • while i was watching it i was thinking, hey it’s just like real life. in the pauses between sex, people get up to Google random shit on the internet. seriously, there’s a lot of screen time devoted to them sitting at the laptop. using Bing. does anyone use Bing? the maps application isn’t Google earth i think. it’s probably by Microsoft too. and they use Internet Explorer.

      in Lip Service, Frankie uses Firefox, not Safari, even if she has a Mac. and the blonde girl uses a custom made search engine. not Bing. i even went to that fake search engine, whatever thing you type in the search bar will result in police station results. try it.

      the laptop and cellphones they use are all Samsungs. the laptop is pretty big, it even has a number pad. did you notice? I’ve never seen a laptop with a number pad.

  14. OK…so I have to completely disagree with Riese.

    I didnt think it was WEIRD nor BAD. I actually LOVED it. Its an arthouse European movie…what did you guys expect? Have you watched any other European movies? They are all like this.

    But the bonus of this movie was that it was about lesbians. Hot lesbians. And ALOT of lesbian sex.

    Yes there was some strange dialogue during this movie but everything fit in with the whole picture. You are drawn into a meeting of 2 women who were strangers to each other, and you are invited to spend the night with them.

    They tell lies to each other because they are protecting themselves. At first they are there purely to enjoy each others bodies. Nothing more. But as they spend more time exploring each other, they start opening up to each other, and start revealing more about their true selves.

    We, the audience, are taken on a journey, along with them, in discovering their true selves. And in the end, I feel this movie succeeds in giving us that.

      • It seems that you haven´t seen many european movies. I agree it is a weird movie but that is not a reason why Room in Rome is a bad movie. Julio Medem who is the director of the film has a very personal style of making cinema. You should see Medem´s filmography. I assure you this is the simplest movie he has directed and they are all really good.

    • Well, just because it’s an arthouse European film it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. There are art films that I like, and there are European films (not all of them are arthouse btw) that I like. But this, I would never even try watching this. The trailer looks like a failed attempt at porn.

    • I AM european, and into artsy films, independent film, weirdo films…

      But i still think this sucked. Eurepean films can still be bad…its not all butterflies.

    • yeah I agree, Oz, and also the actors were very brave and the whole thing seemed very real to me. very excellent love/sex scenes, and the actors conveyed how their feelings and investment evolved. I LOVED the whole dawn scene…they just took a leap, and even the waiter was thrilled. The music drove me nuts, though.

  15. I watched this too at a gay film festival. People were laughing out loud, because it was so bad. Me and my friends had to leave before it was over, because we couldn’t take how awful this movie was. I’d rather watch the l word! Seriously!

  16. This sounds like the kind of movie i need on when im practicing or downloading music. Just every now and then I’ll look up to see boobies. OH BOOOOOOOBIES. pssh.

  17. They are very pretty and beautiful; really artistic, adore them, I think this’s our (GLBTQ) great movie ! professional actresses . Always love this.

  18. ‘ONCE MORE, WITH FEELINGS!’ made me die.

    also, i really didn’t even bother to pay attention to the plot, i was too mesmerized by the cuteness of alba’s hair/boobs/smile/boobs.

  19. but after all that effing processing and such I just gotta know–did they decide yes on the Ikea sale lamp?

    It had: 1) Great Mood & Feeling
    2) A Good plot
    3) Good Actors
    4) Hot sex
    By the way, this whole article above sounds like it was written by a 13 yr old boy with limited brain cells (in that case, yes the movie might bore you)

    The fact that these two women meet, have a one nite stand then start out by telling lies about their names & backgrounds DOES NOT MAKE IT WEIRD! IT MAKES IT REALISTIC & BELIEVABLE… cause thats what happens every day in Rome, London, NYC etc

  21. I’m going to be real honest here. I looked it up on Netflix and flipped through it to watch all the sex scenes, which were pretty damn good, then I watched the weird-as-shit ending, including the symbolic arrow through the heart.

    THEN, when that was all said and done, I looked it up on Wikipedia and read that APPARENTLY the ending was supposed to show that there was still some hope of reconciled lesbian love between the two…yeah right.

  22. I like the movie. I watched it on netflix so there were subtitles to understand when they were speaking different languages.
    It was really simple and I liked it, nothing really seemed to weird except maybe the room service guy. But I took it as him just being weird not him making me feel the movie was weird.

    Yeah the movie was basically talking, then sex, talking, more sex and feeling. But I guess it depends if you liked the stores they were telling…

  23. Okay it’s like quarter to three and I just finished watching this and I liked it. I had many feelings and 94.921% of them were sexual but that’s okay. Goodnight everyone.

  24. lol. this is the BEST “Room in Rome” review i’ve read. all i know is that yes, they were always naked, and having sex… and they didn’t know who they were or wanted to be. The first time i saw it, i played a little game called “the dramatic story starts when they walk outside and you see the flowers” it worked every time! each time, i would see the flowers, i knew one of them was going to start a sad story…. the second time, i was more aware and smarter… so i would fast forward ALL the flower story parts..and theenn the movie was easier to watch. lol.

  25. I thought this would be a good watch.. but it was sooo awkward at times.. Im sure either of them would have bolted much sooner from over-share burnout if not for the need to get to the end of the movie without leaving the hotel room…. and the continual nakedness.. that would have been chilly, what with the window open too… why the need for continued nakedness and girlyness, i guess the male audience wouldnt complain as much thou

  26. This movie was SO weird! Its ridiculous how there was so much sex (which is usually a great thing ;) ) yet, it was so bad. The story line seems flawed and is continuously being reformed through out the entire movie. It’s so horrible that you have to watch it to understand just how bad it is. The makers have done something I’m sure has probably never been done before : Make sex look boring – lesbian sex at that.

  27. I really liked this movie!! I thought it was beautiful and funny and interesting and the actresses are gorgeous. This review was HILARIOUS though, loved it. :D

  28. For those who did not understand the plot: Natasha(Blondie) has a twin sister. Their mother died, and were left with their father. Natasha’s father molested them both when they were young. Any way, soon enough, they both become talented tennis players/actresses. when they were in school, Natasha’s twin dated her teacher until she got a role she wanted and then dropped out of school. Natasha then without knowing that they had dated, began a relationship with that man and eventually got engaged to him. Natasha’s twin sister gave her a wedding gift (a week in Rome, with the final night being the movie night) and they go out, have a couple of glasses and eventually her twin spills the beans about her having dated her soon to be husband. Natasha gets mad, but while she is mad, she spies Alba looking at her and trying to avoid going back to her hotal with her twin, follows Alba to her hotel instead. Now, Alba is a lesbian engineer who is in Rome showing off her prototype for her cycle. She lives in Greece with her girlfriend who has two children. Alba calls her girlfriend’s children her own because she love them as such. One night an accident occurs and the boy dies. That is why Alba gets upset when she sees 4 chairs on the patio, because the picture is old and when she left there were only 3 chairs, because the little boy had died. Later she lets Natasha know that Alba’s mother was married to a royal Arabian and fled to Spain when she knew of his infidelity. Alba and her mother “took care of each other.” Alba never had children of her own. While they tell each other and the audience their stories, the camera goes to two pictures on the walls in the alcove. They go together because the most recent painting was made to go opposite the other painting, the reason being because cupid pointed at everyone in the painting, who are all in couples, men with men, women with women and women with men and women. Alba realizes this throughout the movie and that is why she look at it from different angles throughout the movie because the paintings mean “love is love.” After having so much emotion between each other, Natasha and Alba fall in love. Excellent film. To those who understood it, bravo.

    • Bravo Carlisle!Thank you for taking the time to explain the REAL plot not the false confusing version of it. Amazing movie for sure. Great connections of stories.

  29. My parents tried to watch this with me and 5 or 10 minutes in I just walked out of the room.

    • I should also point out that when I walked past 20mins later the TV was off, they had given up at that point. Given up on all TV.


  31. I Really liked this movie. It remind me of my story with my Russian girl who is moving from Moscow to live with me. I am from Peru and speak Spanish and we both met in Las Vegas. And here in Las Vegas we will leave together. What is next ? Who knows but everything born in the hotel room of the Flamingo Hotel in Las vegas. However, instead of one day it was 5days.

  32. I loved this movie,saw it twice so far, each time seeing things I had missed. The casting of the two women was excellent, each so different and yet blended very well. the feeling of the room, the pictures, the dark lighting, very poetic, sensual and at times humorous, the shower singing was great.. .the love scenes… I had trouble with the main song tho..

  33. I watched this movie, and though I haven’t seen many lesbian (or European) movies, I absolutely loved it. Yeah, I didn’t know what was going on sometimes, I had to watch and think for myself. I haven’t had to do that on a movie in a long time. The chemistry was spot on, the acting pretty dang good, and the actually movie itself was beautiful! I did get a little annoyed about 3/4 of the way through, because I was going “Stay or go, ladies, but make up your mind!” The back and forth got a little old, and I could have done without that “arrow in the heart” scene. It made it too artsy. I’m still not sure about the ending, I have mixed feelings. Overall, A-

  34. The writter of this article did not understand the pilot at all! I also watched the movie twice till i got it.

    Alba is a lesbian an when she talks about getting pregnant she means her mother. Alba first introduces herself as her mother which was married to a Saudi prince and gets pregnant and gives birth to Alba in Greece.

    Natasha does the same thing but with her sister. She introduces her sister’s story to Alba who is an actress. Natasha is a tennis player and is getting married. I must admit the music is creepy but i like the part about the art works on the walls.

    In the end i think they end up together since Natasha ran towards Alba like a horse.
    I would rate the movie 7.5/10

  35. I liked this movie so much & couldn’t remember what it was called so I googled “Lesbian travel rome movie” and autostraddle was the first result. You have to have patience to appreciate the movie and the way it unfolds.

  36. Riese:

    “I’m surprised Natasha still considered Lezland a viable option after this night of psychotherapy.”

    I literally laughed out loud.

  37. I feel sorry for the people who don’t get and hence can’t enjoy this film. The review was hysterical though, I laughed out loud to myself :) But the movie is, in my humble opinion, absolutely beautiful and magical and just the right amount of strange. It wouldn’t surprise me if people who hate this film enjoy films that I hate, such as Loving Annabelle…

  38. I think the article is funny, but not really fair.
    It‘s a great movie. It is even more about intimacy than about sex, i think. If you look behind the surface of nakedness and Beauty.
    The most moving, tender moment in this movie is not when they get undressed, it is when they are dresing eachother when the morning aproches in those white bathrobes.
    Elena Anaya is breathtaking. It‘s sad that she doesn‘t get more leading roles like this, where she can show complex, deep feelings and subjects that obviously matter to her as a lesbian.
    Those roles still barely exist. We need our cinema! We need more leading roles for actresses like her. So please stop your „censorship“ with this movie- it must have a place on the top 200 list!

  39. I have just watched this film and could have watched it again. The problem people seem to have is that this was not a shallow and meaningless American film. This film is moving. It is atmospheric, intelligent and beautifully filmed. I suggest most of you should keep watching American films and leave the European films to the rest of us. I find a generally good rule is if the film wins an Academy Award, it’s best avoided.

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