21 August 2011

Movies: The Roommate

The Roommate (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1265990/


Sara from Des Moines, Iowa, goes to college in LA to become a clothing designer. She is paired up with Rebecca as her roommate in the dorm. Rebecca is from LA, her parents live not too far away, but wants to distance herself from them while attending college. Then Rebecca gets freaky obsessed with Sara, wanting to be her only friend and works against the 'competition' for Rebecca's friendship.

Stars Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester, with small supporting roles filled by the 'big guns' Billy Zane and Frances Fisher. Yeah - most likely you'd recognize Zane and Fisher before Kelly and Meester, but they gotta start somewhere. Actually they both have been in a few films and TV series, all of which I've not seen or if I had seen them I never realized they were in there.

Kelly and Meester did ok looking pretty in their roles, and they did fine with the material they were given to work with. But I think the problems with the film are much deeper than the cast. The best, most exciting thrilling part of the film is the very end of the film, the final showdown. But the rest of the film is transparently plotted and weakly delivered. Even the epilogue even falls flat. Other than the Sara to Rebecca and Sara to her boyfriend relationships, the satellite relationships aren't well developed. The attempts to slowly fill the viewer in on Rebecca's family and past are sparse and thin, leaving lots for the viewer to have to fill in on their own time. Some films effectively accomplish this, this film, not so much. I realize the story they are trying to tell and recognized the attempts at trying to 'show' the buildup to the end and all, but most of it is so predictable it's almost laughable in some moments.

Despite its weaknesses, it was its most entertaining in the payoff right before the end. However the end isn't a strong enough reason to seek out the film.

This film is basically a weakly accomplished remake/rewrite of 1992's Single White Female, a much better film starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh. If you've seen "Single White Female" you would spot the weaknesses of "The Roommate" quite easily in comparison. There is no reason to even see "The Roommate" if you've seen "Single White Female". And if you haven't seen either film and are looking for a film in the 'psycho bitch wants to take over someone else's life' category, go with "Single White Female". IMO "Single White Female" is still a re-watchable film, "The Roommate" offers no reason to watch it again.

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