When in Rome

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
When in Rome Movie Poster Image
The Olsens find fun, fashion, and romance in Italy.
  • G
  • 2002
  • 94 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Hard work is rewarded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The twins are resilient after being fired. One is blamed for a mistake made by someone else, but she doesn't expose the real perpetrator. They both apply ingenuity and perseverance to solving problems.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

One twin kisses a boy; the other is pursued by a boy she thinks is arrogant, accepts a hug from him, but turns down a kiss. An adult couple also kisses.

Language
Consumerism

The internship is with a fashion/music company that uses recording artists to wear and promote the clothes they design.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that When in Rome is a 2002 Olsen twins movie that takes the 16-year-old sisters to Rome on a fashion internship. They perform menial office jobs as they learn the ropes. One twin finds romance and kisses her beau while the other firmly says no when a boy wants to kiss her. There's an innocent romance among adults as well. The twins work hard and both apply ingenuity and perseverance to solving problems.

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What's the story?

Charli (Mary-Kate Olsen) and Leila (Ashley Olsen) take summer internships in Rome at Derek Hammond's (Julian Stone) fashion company. Charli falls for fellow intern Paolo (Michelangelo Tommaso), whose real passion is cooking, and Leila helps integrate Hammond's slacker nephew into the workplace. Corporate sabotage upends an important fashion shoot, but Leila's photography hobby captures the perpetrator in the act, and Charli's fashion-design hobby allows the interns to save the day and win the boss's respect and admiration.

Is it any good?

WHEN IN ROME is fun but requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. Hammond's company is supposedly a global corporation, so the level of interaction between the high executives and a bunch of largely incompetent summer interns borders on magical realism. For example, Hammond takes the time to advise his interns to succeed by demonstrating qualities that all start with the letter C, including creativity and conscientiousness. Setting that aside, the cast surrounding the twins is a cut above earlier Olsen movies, perhaps because the Olsens themselves served as executive producers here. Parents watching with their kids may appreciate the romantic subplot involving the boss and his long-time designer, affording a refreshing respite from the all-teen-all-the-time plots that can sometimes dominate Olsen movies. Make sure to watch the cute outtakes that run during the closing credits.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of handling work duties responsibly. What are the consequences of goofing off on the job?

  • If you could get any type of internship you wanted, which would you choose? Why?

  • Cleverness, creativity, conscientiousness, and calmness help one perform well at a job. What are some other qualities that help you succeed?

  • How do you say "no" when someone wants to kiss you but you don't want to?

Movie details

For kids who love fashion

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