All Roads Lead to Rome

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
All Roads Lead to Rome Movie Poster Image
Lackluster mother-daughter comedy has teen drug use.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes close mother-daughter relationships.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Maggie loves Summer and wants to remove her from her dangerous relationship. Carmen is committed to her love, even though her son thinks she's too old to know what she's doing.


Physical comedy: A couple of falls and near car crashes.


Passionate kisses between adults.


Infrequent language includes "bitch," "s--t," "psycho," "hell," and "stupid."


Brands/logos seen include Alitalia Airlines, Prozac.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A little social drinking; a joint passed between an elderly woman and a young woman. Discussion of a man's drug crimes. A teen drinks wine and smokes cigarettes, as does an older woman.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All Roads Lead to Rome is a vacation romcom starring Sarah Jessica Parker as a single mom who travels to Italy with her edgy teen daughter (Rosie Day). There's some social drinking (including by the teen), recreational marijuana use (by both the teen and an elderly woman), and infrequent swearing ("bitch," "s--t," etc.). The romance includes a few passionate kisses but doesn't get too heavy -- that said, there are also references to the teen's unhealthy relationship with a criminal. Despite some of the movie's iffy content, there are ultimately positive messages about parent-child relationships.

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What's the story?

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME is a mother-daughter comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Maggie, a single mom who's taken her rebellious teen daughter, Summer (Rosie Day), to the Italian countryside for the summer. While staying at a property she first visited as a young woman, Maggie immediately sees Luca (Raoul Bova), an artist she had a romance with 20 years earlier. Summer, desperate to return to New York to take the fall for her drug-dealing boyfriend (because she'd get a much lighter sentence than he), teams up with Luca's aged mother, Carmen (Claudia Carnivale), to steal Luca's sports car and head to Rome -- Summer to get to the airport and Carmen to meet her secret lover. Horrified that her daughter and his mother have run away together, Maggie and Luca enlist the help of his ex, a TV anchor (Paz Vega), to get the word out about the missing women.

Is it any good?

Although it has some mildly amusing moments, this romantic comedy set in Italy is predictable, problematic, and uninspired. Parker is used to playing mothers at this point in her career, but she has zero chemistry with both her on-screen daughter and her potential love interest (Bouva was also an Italian object of amore in Under the Tuscan Sun opposite Diane Lane, with whom he shared a more palpable connection). The screwball comedy elements of missed opportunities, miscommunication, and couples falling on top of each other isn't matched by the witty banter necessary to be worth watching.

Iconic Italian actress Carnivale is intriguing as Luca's mom, who desperately needs a ride to Rome and finds the perfect partner in young Summer. Their single-minded mission to drive to Rome is in the name of love, but there's nothing all that compelling about the two of them speeding off together as Luca and Maggie try in vain to follow. Vega is supposed to add a soapy twist to the proceedings as a gorgeous TV personality who keeps portraying Summer as a juvenile delinquent who kidnapped Luca's mom -- in hopes of securing Luca's romantic attention. But any moviegoer will know who ends up with whom from the first moment Luca shows up on screen. There's nothing original about this movie, but ultimately it's more a disappointment than it is awful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how All Roads Lead to Rome portrays the mother-daughter relationship. What do the characters learn over the course of the movie? What message does that send?

  • Discuss the recreational drug use in the movie. Is it glamorized? Are there consequences?

  • What makes road trips a common narrative device in storytelling? How does this one compare to other cinematic road trips you've seen?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance and comedy

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