The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Bad Movie Reviews with a Touch of Snark

Sabrina Goes to Rome, or: Harvey and I Will Bury You in the Catacombs, Paul

10 Comments

The Film:

Sabrina Goes to Rome

Where to Watch:

Someone must have posted this on the internet; if not, it’s included on the last season of Sabrina

The Premise:

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, travels to Rome in order to uncover the secret of a locket that has been in the family for centuries.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

Just as a word of caution, the music in this film is about as good (bad) as you’d expect from a movie based on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Right out of the gate there’s this really bad ‘90s dance track about everyone traveling their own road.

So basically the big setup for this movie is that Sabrina is in Rome to open a locket her dad sent her in a letter; she has to figure out a way to open it within the next 2 weeks or…I don’t know, I guess it will just be closed forever. At this point I was trying to get beyond the fact that Sabrina’s parents aren’t dead. Or at least her father isn’t. I kind of assumed that she lived with her aunts at least partially because her parents are dead.

When Sabrina arrives in Rome, she discovers she has a roommate in what is essentially a B&B for witches. Her roommate is Gwen, who I thought was her cousin, but I guess not. Gwen is an English girl with a really bad cockney accent and a jellybean obsession. Because the writers of Sabrina NEVER give in to stereotypes.

With Gwen’s help, Sabrina discovers the owner of the necklace was her aunt Sophia, who was banished after she fell in love with a mortal artist. He revealed she was a witch, and that gave her 12 hours to turn him into a pile of stone or be banished (yeah, those are the fucking rules in witchcraft. You do not talk about witchcraft).

So Sabrina and Gwen kind of alternate between fun touristy trips and locket-uncovering missions. Sabrina makes a wish in the Trevi Fountain and sees Sophia reflected in the water in a moment completely out of The Lion King. She’s just about to fall into the fountain when a really smooth American dude helps her (moral of the story is always don’t date the foreign guy).

If you've ever played the Lion King board game, you know the agony of failing to make Mufasa's face appear in the reflection pool.

If you’ve ever played the Lion King board game, you know the agony of failing to make Mufasa’s face appear in the reflection pool.

Suavity in action:

Sabrina: You forgot to make a wish.

Smooth American Paul: What if it already came true?

Then he basically loses all points in his favor when he starts taking pictures of her after saying goodbye. It turns out he’s a photographer for a shady Italian tabloid. Paul and his friend Travis follow Sabrina to a museum the next day, where Gwen accidentally brings the statue of David to life. Sabrina, master of trickery and deceit, yells “Hey, look—the pope!” to distract Paul and Travis (which works). However, Paul and Travis are both onto her. Travis, true American that he is recognizes immediately what to do with an unbelievable, incredible story: sell it! The two bros have to get video of Sabrina practicing witchcraft to sell to the shady tabloid editor. With the money, Paul can finally be a REAL journalist.

'90s movie would be incomplete without camo pants.

’90s movie would be incomplete without camo pants.

Paul waits by the B&B wearing shades and holding a single rose. Sabrina hesitates but agrees to get breakfast with him, aka zip around Rome on a scooter. (I totally never realized how much of a Roman Holiday rip-off [tribute?] this is.) When they finally make it to breakfast, Sabrina bonds with Paul over the “real issues” she’s covered in her high school paper.

To search for clues, Sabrina and Gwen dig around the archives (archives in popular culture!). They discover the house where Sophia lived, but don’t realize Paul and Travis are on their trail.

So it turns out Sabrina has to find the portrait the artist, Roberto, painted of Sophia. There’s also an extended shopping montage for no apparent reason besides that this movie is apparently targeted to preteen girls. Paul and Travis continue to follow them around. Travis turns out to be a frenemy; when Paul is taking artistic pictures of Humans of Rome, Travis says it’s a waste of time.

Meanwhile, Gwen accidentally turns Alberto, the son of the lady running the B&B, into a pigeon. The spell can only be broken by kissing Alberto…so Gwen has to go around kissing EVERY pigeon in Rome.

I need you to appreciate that there is a montage to “Crush” in which Sabrina does archival work, runs around exploring with Gwen, and goes on dates with Paul.

Sabrina tells Paul she’s researching a minor Renaissance painter (you’ve probably never heard of him), and he finds a museum that houses a still life he painted.

Shortly after, we FINALLY get the time travel scenes we’ve been waiting for. Sabrina goes back in time to warn Sophia, who, conveniently, looks EXACTLY like her. Roberto’s “best friend” Mercutio suspects Sophia’s a witch and threatens to publicly announce it in the square tomorrow. Roberto then says she’s cool even though she is a witch, thus betraying her. It turns out Lorenzo, the dude Sophia’s family keeps pushing at her, paid Mercutio to trick Roberto. Somebody needs to tell these dudes to ditch the frenemies. Sophia forgives Roberto and refuses to turn him into a pile of stones, which means she will be banished. She then disappears, and Sabrina has to swordfight EVERYONE. Luckily, she makes it back to the painting and returns to her own time fairly quickly.

I believe this is the only instance of Sabrina sword fighting (though I've been wrong before).

I believe this is the only instance of Sabrina sword fighting (though I’ve been wrong before).

At this point, Paul decides he’s too noble to keep up this sham; however, Travis continues to creepily record everything Paul and Sabrina do.

At the end, Gwen finally kisses Alberto Pigeon, and he becomes human again. He overheard Travis and Paul’s plans when he was a pigeon, so he and Gwen race to warn Sabrina.

Too late—Sabrina has already revealed her secret by transporting herself and Paul to see his family, who I’m pretty sure are all dead? Paul promises never to reveal her secret just as Salem, Gwen, and Alberto arrive to tell her about the scam he and Travis are running. Salem’s sage advice is to turn Paul into a pile of stone, but Sabrina refuses.

Paul then finds Sabrina at Sophia’s portrait, showing her the destroyed tape of her performing witchcraft. His message is, essentially, thank you for believing in me (and not turning me into a pile of stone).

HOLOGRAM SABRINAAAAA...was probably an unnecessary expenditure.

HOLOGRAM SABRINAAAAA…was probably an unnecessary expenditure.

At last, the locket is magically opened with LOVE. Sophia appears as a hologram and advises Sabrina that the ones you love are always with you. Also that you should always choose love over magic (I’m sorry, but I would choose magic, esp. witchcraft). Salem, a cat after my own heart, tells Paul “You’re lucky I’m declawed!” Sabrina just kind of fucks with Travis by turning him into a bunch of different animals.

And they all lived happily ever after, except for Harvey.

The Critique:

I just don’t like this one as much as Sabrina Down Under, largely because Salem gets significantly less screen time. Also a little bit because Sabrina dates someone besides Harvey. I know that’s wrong. Sabrina can date whoever she wants to, but I’m still going to be upset when it’s not Harvey.

There’s something generally punch-able about Paul’s face.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherHalf Pink Panther head 2.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I feel I need to express my discontent with the lack of Salem screen time, though, objectively, this is probably no worse than Sabrina Down Under.

Advertisements

Author: jilliansheilas

I like books, bad movies, bothering my cats, and Herbert Lom. Sometimes I behave like an information professional.

10 thoughts on “Sabrina Goes to Rome, or: Harvey and I Will Bury You in the Catacombs, Paul

  1. Oh no you didn’t! I cannot wait to read this post with a cup of tea later! x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! Thank you so much for doing this one! These two Sabrina movies were a highlight of my childhood (doesn’t say much does it!) and I’m getting nostalgic and giddy just reading this post! I agree that Down Under was better though! (I’d definitely pick magic over boys any day!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I’m glad you agree! I think the significantly higher ratio of shirtless guys in Sabrina Down Under doesn’t hurt its score, but it would be HIGHLY out of character for that kind of thing to influence me whatsoever…

      Like

  3. All English cousins are cockney with a jelly bean addiction, it’s true x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The film might be a 2.5 but the review is a solid 5.

    I don’t think I ever saw this one, it certainly hasn’t stuck in my memory like the Mermaid One.

    You know I have decided something from this though. If they ever made a biopic of my life I too am going to have an inexplicable shopping montage. Every film needs one.

    Every film x

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES.
      I’m hoping for a wildly inaccurate biopic where I’m just throwing diamonds around Tiffany’s or smashing everything in the Apple Store. Not because I have a problem with Apple, but because I CAN.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: New Blogs*: A Round-up of What I Am Reading Right Now – Part 2 | A Voluptuous Mind

  6. Pingback: New Blogs*: A Round-up of What I Am Reading Right Now – Part 2 | A Voluptuous Mind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s