Entertainment Magazine: Film: 2011: "The Roommate"

The Roommate - A Psychological Shoot Out

By Miv Evans

This film misses every mark before it even gets there and everything is set up solely for the purpose of someone else coming along to knock it down.

There's not one truly creepy moment throughout; filleting a fluffy and getting two girls to kiss, with or without tongue, is never going to save anything.

Sara (Minka Kelly) is a freshman at a Los Angeles college and is allocated a room with Rebecca (Leighton Meester).  Sara quickly makes new friends but Rebecca remains aloof to everyone apart from Sara.

The friendship of the two develops until Rebecca's behavior begins to make Sara uncomfortable and she realizes Rebecca isn't the person she originally thought.  

The moment we meet Rebecca we know something's up.  She gets irritated when someone calls her Beccy instead of Rebecca, is secretive about her sketchbook and never goes to parties with the other students. 

The writers might as well have drawn an arrow on the screen, pointed it at Rebecca, and added a speech bubble, "Here's the psycho bitch".

After this painful intro, the only hope is that it all turns out to be a ruse, that the real enemy is still lurking in the wings, ready to highjack our imagination and take us on the rollercoaster ride we were hoping for when we paid for our ticket.  But no such luck.

The writer seems to think using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut is the only way to go and the audience is never trusted to work out anything for themselves.  It's all really insulting stuff. 

The pace of this story is desperately slow and the structure unerringly episodic.  We have to spend an entire Thanksgiving with Rebecca's parents just so Rebecca's mother can ask Sara if Rebecca is taking her medication. 

The Roommate Movie Trailer

Watch the Official "The Roommate" movie trailer from Hulu. Click on the white triangle to start the movie. College student Sara finds her safety jeopardized after she's assigned to a dorm room with a new roommate, Rebecca. Run time: 2:25

The Roommate Movie Release Dates International:

Canada: 4 February 2011
USA: 4 February 2011
Spain: 18 March 2011
Iceland: 25 March 2011
Sweden: 25 March 2011
Egypt: 30 March 2011
Germany: 31 March 2011
Hungary: 31 March 2011
Denmark: 7 April 2011
Norway: 8 April 2011
UK: 15 April 2011
Belgium: 20 April 2011
Malaysia: 21 April 2011
Greece: 28 April 2011
Singapore: 28 April 2011
Italy: 29 April 2011
Netherlands: 5 May 2011

When two people are sharing a room, it's hardly a stretch for them to stumble across each other's secrets, and everyone likes a snoop, even the sweet, perfect Sara, who smiles her way vacuously through most of the film.  In all fairness, this isn't entirely her fault, as her character is as one dimensional as everyone else's.

Finales are an accumulation of what's gone before and when nothing much has happened, writers flail around looking for something to give their actors to do.

In this case, it includes a shoot out and, while I agree that some things are best done at gunpoint, it doesn't include psychological thrillers; for this genre I expect, dare I say it, something psychological.

Miv Evans is a British businesswoman who relocated to Los Angeles in 2005. She previously had a comedy drama commissioned by BBC TV and sold her first film to REN Media International in 2008 which she wrote, directed and produced.

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