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Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Roommate


The Roommate
Drama (Horror, Thriller)
2011
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 91 minutes
Starring: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, Billy Zane
Directed By: Christian Christiansen
Rating: 3 out of 10
Outline
A college student’s roommate becomes obsessed with her every move.


Review
No offense to Bridget Fonda or Jennifer Jason Leigh but this movie is basically just a remake of the film Single White Female with better looking people. You might think I am shallow saying that but I try and speak my mind (plus I used to have a crush on Bridget back in the day). Does the world really need Single White Female 2? The answer is a huge no as it barely needed the first version. The Roommate is the story of college student Sara. She just got a new roommate named Rebecca who seems a little off and a lot obsessive.

I get that the world needs thrillers that appeal to teens but this film will not be appreciated by either young or old. As I said above this film is basically Single White Female but without the R rating to help it. Single White Female wasn’t great so this film had no chance. There are many problems with this film but timelines and the characters are what make it glaringly bad. The movie starts and we are introduced to Sara as she sets up her dorm room. She instantly gets whisked away to a club for some binge drinking and some dancing with a couple of friends from her floor. While at the club she meets a new beau in Stephen and they instantly hit it off. The next day Sara is introduced to Rebecca as they become dorm mates and instantly they become BFF’s. That is until Rebecca starts to obsess over everything Sara does and says. YES THE FILM HAPPENS THAT FAST. In a span of five to ten minutes Sara gets close friends on her dorm room floor, meets her new boyfriend, and gets introduced to her new roommate and bonds with her like family. It is like they filled a shotgun with plot topics and then shot you directly in the face with it. While Sara signs up for classes, deals with a persistent ex boyfriend, and settles into a routine, nothing remotely scary or thrilling happens. The film just drags its heels waiting for anyone to save it from its mundane existence.

The characters are superficial and the acting is virtually absent. Sara is played by the strikingly attractive Leighton Meester. She is clearly in this for her looks and little else. She plays this oblivious and impossibly patient character that likes fashion and drinking. I get that the film needs some buildup but anyone with a 60 IQ would know something is wrong with Rebecca from virtually the start. A scene where Rebecca scolds Sara for not calling would have most people running for the hills. Yet Sara finds nothing wrong with her clearly psychotic roommate. To be fair, Meester was given terrible lines of dialogue and had no chance to develop her character but she still gives a stale performance. Sara’s roommate Rebecca is played by Meester’s doppelganger, actress Minka Kelly. Kelly actually gives a convincing performance as Rebecca. She seems off her rocker and that builds as the movie progresses. Her obsessive nature and emotional facial expressions were enough to convey the craziness factor. If she wasn’t hamstrung by the film’s PG-13 rating and lack of originality in her violent outbursts then she could have saved the movie. The rest of the supporting cast is played by Cam Gigandet, Aly Michalka, Danneel Ackles, and they provide mostly looks instead of substance.

So for the greater part of this movie the story is just dull. Sara goes about her daily life at the university with a na├»ve sense of unreality. Her friends constantly warn her about Rebecca and her crazy ways but she doesn’t buy it. Rebecca is always around, has crazy and intense mood swings, goes through Sara’s things, and yet Sara never questions her roommate. When finally things don’t start adding up in Sara’s mind, the viewer will already hate this movie beyond saving. The ending tries to capture some of the violence that the rest of the film so desperately needed but it is too little too late and not to mention stupid. So in conclusion this film is basically an hour and a half of stargazing. It is nothing more than good looking people wearing stylish clothes and drinking and having sex.

Director Christian Christiansen’s (I wonder if he is religious) foray into the thriller world is an unmitigated disaster. His pacing is so rapid that it is hard to appreciate any character on screen. Having the lead character being impossibly dimwitted is hard to swallow also. She has no sense of self perseverance that she is hard to connect with. He seems more concerned with having the cast looking good then scaring the audience. This film offers nothing new on a story that was already done 20 years ago. His style is amateurish and disappointing.

I cannot recommend this film as it is easy on the eyes but not easy on common sense.

T Factor + If you like your horror/thrillers to have more implied scares then in your face ones then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you have seen Single White Female before then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Stepfather, Domestic Disturbance.  

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