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Film / Room in Rome

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A 2010 Spanish film directed by Julio Medem. Two women visit a hotel room in order to have an affair. One, Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko) is Russian, the other, Alba (Elena Anaya), is Spanish, and they are both leaving for their respective countries the following morning. The circumstances of their meeting is left vague. While in the room they exchange stories about their lives, many of them false, but maybe with a grain of truth behind them, and grow closer as the night wears on.

The film was shot on a small budget. The entire action takes place in that single room and the entire story is driven by the acting and dialogue of the two leads.

During the course of the action each character takes on many different names. The article will refer to them by the names that they first give to each other: Alba and Natasha.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Natasha's father sexually molested her sister and ended up traumatising both of them.
  • Always Identical Twins: Natasha has a twin that is completely identical to her. She seems to enjoy assuming her identity in her stories, including the more Squicky parts.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Alba and Natasha talk about separating from their partners and leaving their previous lives so they can stay together in Rome; in the moment's enthusiasm Alba mentions how she wants to see Natasha run, and Natasha promises she will. Eventually, however, Natasha can't bring herself to leave everything behind, so they agree to keep the secret and go their separate ways. They walk away from each other after holding hands for one last time - and right when you'd expect the credits to roll, Natasha calls out to Alba and runs across the screen in her direction. Is she just keeping her promise to let Alba see her run, or has she changed her mind and is enacting a dramatic, life-altering decision? You decide.
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  • Bi the Way: Natasha, who has a boyfriend and soon-to-be husband.
  • But Not Too Bi: Natasha starts the film claiming to be straight and to like boys more, even going so far as to hope she'll like them better after the night is over. But as the hours pass and her night with Alba gets more passionate and sentimental, her uncertainty abates significantly, and by the time the night ends she admits she's in love.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Five different languages are spoken over the course of the film. English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, and Basque. Not all versions of the film have subtitles to translate these different languages. If you can understand Russian and Spanish, though (or get a version with subtitles), you can get some pretty interesting revelations. At one point the two leads start talking to each other in their native tongues, and it becomes clear that Natasha has her own Bilingual Bonus going on: while Alba mostly gives some generic revelations about how she feels in the situation, Natasha's dialogue is a response to Alba's - because while the latter can't speak Russian, Natasha speaks fluent Italian and understands Spanish. Alba calls her out on this later on.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Max the waiter. He’s all excited when he thinks he’s going to have a threesome with the women, but it doesn’t happen. The next morning, however, he’s delighted that they’ve clearly got it on during the night, and even serenades them with some opera before leaving them to their breakfast.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Max sure thinks so. He's delighted when he thinks Alba is offering to have a threesome with him and Natasha. However, even learning she isn't, he's still very happy to realize they got it on.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Alba sees a painting and uses the story of the painting as her own backstory. Natasha calls her on this.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Very definitely Natasha (well, lipstick bisexual), though it can be argued that both girls qualify - Alba is a bit of a tomboy, but not nearly enough to qualify as a Butch Lesbian.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Natasha covers up this way once.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alba and Natasha. They spend most of the film naked and when they're naked, it's usually accompanied by them having sex or being intimate together. When they decide to cover up, it's only barely, and their legs are usually completely uncovered.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Alba dons Natasha's shirt at one point.
  • Shower of Love: Alba and Natasha have one.
  • Three-Way Sex: Poor Max comes up, completely misunderstanding Alba's (very literal) request for toys, and thinks the girls want this. He's bitterly disappointed, though he manages to leave with some dignity.
  • Twin Switch: Natasha pretends to be her sibling at first before confessing that she was telling her sister's story. Or maybe her sister's story was the real story, who knows (she is an Unreliable Expositor).
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Alba and Natasha have sex in the bathtub.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Many of the stories the two women tell are explicitly not true. Others are left up to the audience to decide on their veracity.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Both women are already in long-term relationships with others. It comes out that for both this is the first time they've been unfaithful. Natasha says that the tryst is hurting them both, but they continue nevertheless.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Averted. Natasha, in particular, is in full makeup throughout and it never even gets smudged, even after she and Alba have had sex in the shower.


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