Australian Council on Children and the Media

When in Rome

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Themes, sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for When in Rome
  • a review of When in Rome completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 22 April 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to slapstick violence and themes
Children aged 8-13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and sexual references
Children over the age of 13 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: When in Rome
Classification: PG
Length 91 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Beth (Kristen Bell) is a very successful art curator who has not been so successful in love. She travels to Rome for the wedding of her younger sister Joan(Alexis Dziena) to Umberto (Luca Calvani). Beth is immediately attracted to the best man, Nick (Josh Duhamel) but after seeing him with another woman drinks too much and ends up in a street fountain. Beth takes some coins from the fountain and, by magic, also steals the hearts of the men who threw the money in there.

Back in New York the bewitched men relentlessly pursue her and, to her amazement, so does Nick. Beth thinks he must also be under the spell and so does her best to avoid him.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Magic and superstition; stalking

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some slapstick violence in this movie including:

  • Beth accidentally knocks an old lady down while trying to smash a vase
  • One of the men pursuing Beth, runs into a horse and carriage
  • Beth sprays Nick in the eyes with mouth wash, thinking he is someone else
  • Nick falls down an open chute in the road
  • A man hanging upside down in Beth’s apartment falls on to a glass coffee table, smashing it
  • Nick and Beth go out for dinner to a ‘sensory deprivation’ restaurant where they can’t see anything.  All her pursuers come in to the restaurant wearing goggles and try to grab her.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  •  A street magician pulls out his heart (a fake one) to impress Beth
  • Nick is hit by a car but is unharmed.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Beth’s pursuers are all stereotypes of weird people and their pursuit of her is quite creepy
  • Beth tells the story to Nick of one of Picasso’s young lovers who hangs herself, which obviously upsets her.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Some mild references to the priest and one of the pursuers being gay

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • passionate kissing between Beth and Nick
  • passionate kissing and implied sex  between Joan and Umberto

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • drinking at various venues, at the wedding, clubs, restaurants, etc.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:

  • damn
  • Oh my God

In a nutshell

When in Rome is a romantic comedy aimed at teenage girls. It is predictable, light hearted and not very original.

The main messages from this movie are that love is more important than success and that failure in the past doesn’t mean failure in the future.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours such as:

  • the futility of pursuing someone who isn’t interested in you.
  • the real consequences of stalking

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