True story: until today I'd never watched Sabrina Goes To Rome. I know. I am a disgrace to my generation and my community of fellow Melissa Joan Hart enthusiasts. You guys, if you haven't watched it, ignore the Rotten Tomatoes rating. Two stars?! Pfft. I laugh in the face of your most popular rating system, entertainment industry. Sure, if by two stars you mean "La Dolce Vita meets Roman Holiday with all the boring stuff left out." It boasts: Salem striking up an unlikely friendship with a guinea pig, stunning shots of Rome, some late' 90s Madonna songs I'd never even heard from her underrated Ray of Light album, some wonderfully terrible special effects, and way too many pairs of pedal pushers to count.
If you're a longtime Sabrina fan, you'll know that no story, no matter how full of capers, came without a moral message for the viewers. This one was a little hazy. It was either "love is more important than magic" or "love is more important than money" or "never have a best friend, because he'll try and mess up your love life since he's a greedy capitalist" or "don't turn your crush into a pigeon." I guess it also could have been "give Madonna's mid-late catalogue a second chance," depending on how you look at it. They're all important, LBR.
Whatever the case, the movie is worth a watch (or a rewatch), and here's proof. Here, I have Sabrina Goes To Rome in chronologically ordered perfect moments.
1. We Are Definitely In 1998
2. Happiest Terrible Driver In The World
3. The Special FX Are Like, Whoa
Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Making James Cameron insecure about his special effects skills since 1996.
4. The Woman Who Runs Her Hotel Looks Like Sophia Loren
No new shops have opened in Italy since the 1950s.
5. Also, Sabrina Hates European Customs
6. She's Sharing Her Room With A Girl From An Enid Blyton Novel
This picture: Italian Sophia Loren lookalike, late '90s Sabrina bringing sexy back, and the English girl from the Malory Towers boarding school novels. Sure, whatever works.
7. Getting The Hiccups Is A Really Big Deal When You're A Witch
Like, a really big deal. Like objects floating big deal.
8. Especially If You're Sharing A Room...
And have to keep on distracting your roomie so they're not like, why are objects in our room resisting the basic laws of physics?
9. Sometimes It's Fun Though. Like Playing Twister By Yourself?
10. Sabrina Wears A Crop Top To Bed
10. This Is Like When You're Sharing A Hostel Room With Someone Younger And They're Like "Are You Tired? Want To Go Out And Do Shots All Night?"
11. Potential Love Interest number one
12. But Sabrina's Like...
13. Best/Worst Outfits
14. Love Interest number two
15. FYI: This Is His Best Friend
16. He's Like The Sabrina Version Of Jake Gyllenhaal In Nightcrawler
17. Then This Happens And It's Important You Know About It
18. Sabrina Ensures Someone Will Use The Adjective "Statuesque" About Her Looks
19. British Girl Finds Innovative Solution To Lack Of Suitable Men In Rome
20. This Is How People Ask Other People On Dates In A Pre-Smartphone Age
21. So Then Sabrina Proposes Wearing Culottes On Her Date And British Girl Is Like, Maybe Something More Mysterious?
22. So Sabrina Joke-Tries Out This Outfit
23. And Then Joke Tries Out Being A Sexy Sophia Loren Type
24. But No. None Of These Outfits Are As Sexy As This Final Date Outfit
Riiight? Powder blue pedal pushers with matching cardigan?
25. Coffee In Europe Makes You Make This Face
26. Has Italian Cuisine Been Overhyped?
Seriously now questioning the whole Mediterranean diet/long-life connection.
27. But Life's OK Because Sabrina Owns These Sunglasses
28. Casting Spells And Being At Burning Man Seem Kind Of Similar
29. Italian Fashion Is Pretty OK, I Guess
I bow down to the power of the dress. Sure, she looks like a bumblebee. But a sexy bumblebee.
30. "OK, OK. That's It. I'm Giving Up On Pursuing Romance With My Own Species"
31. Meanwhile, Against An Iron Gate Nearby...
32. Does Sabrina Have A Problem?
33. When You Go To A Party And Your Best Friend Shows Up In Basically The Same Thing
34. And She's Like, Go Home And Change. I Bought This First
35. And You Talk Her Round
36. The Saddest Party In The World
37. Sabrina Magics Her Lover Into Meeting His Family For The First Time
I'm not ashamed to tell you I cried a bit at this point. Further proof Sabrina Goes To Rome outranks La Dolce Vita.