The Roommate (2011)

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Hollywood
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Roommate

Storyline

Fresh from Des Moines, Iowa, Sara has just landed in Los Angeles as a college freshman studying fashion design. She meets handsome Stephen, party-lover Tracy, and roommate Rebecca. Rebecca is nice, sweet and ready to share everything with Sara. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But Tracy is convinced that there’s something seriously wrong with Rebecca and bad things start happening to everyone close to Sara. If Sara is to have a normal college experience, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of what’s up with Rebecca and quickly get out of her clutches. –IMDb

Writer:

Sonny Mallhi

Stars:

Minka KellyLeighton Meester and Cam Gigandet

Genres:

 Drama | Thriller

Taglines:

New variation on ‘SINGLE WHITE FEMALE’, this one revolving around two college freshmen living on campus together at ULA. It stars ‘GOSSIP GIRL’s Leighton Meester as the psycho student and Minka Kelly as the good girl. The film is directed by Christian E. Christiansen and written by first time writer Sonny Mallhi. It’s mildly amusing at times but for the most part it’s routine and devoid of thrills or any real action.

The story of The Roommate has nothing special. It was your average teen horror/thriller set on a college campus. It had the usual characters: the new girl in town, the party girl, the cute guy who just happens to have a crush on the new girl, and the crazy phsyco. Some things I wished were different are: the kitten side-story and the background. The kitten story brought nothing to the movie except a cute little kitten and to show more of Rebecca’s psycho side (as if we don’t have enough of it from the other encounters in the movie). I wanted more background on Rebecca, more of an explanation of why she was the way she was then just a bottle of pills and the word crazy hung out there. That part of the story is weak with just the “crazy explanation.” I was also hoping that they would draw on the background when they introduced Nina Dobrev’s character and Rebecca’s obsessive drawings. I just felt that the background was missing, making the movie weaker than its potential.

This movie is humiliatingly bad. Sara Matthews gets to college, sets up her stuff and then one of her friends, Tracy steals her away to go to a party. Once there, she runs into Stephen and instantly starts to fall for him. The next morning, Sara meets her new roommate, Rebecca. The fixation starts innocently enough and of course, Sara is oblivious to all of it because that’s what these kind of movies need: incredibly stupid characters. Then an ending that’s so anti-climactic and just plain ridiculous you will actually cringe and maybe even yell at your TV.

Still of Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester in The Roommate

The movie felt terribly forced. So many plot elements were left unexplained when they could have been used to help the audience understand Rebecca’s character. “We were never friends.” At one point, a mysterious girl confronts Rebecca with this hurtful comment. Is anything gained from this besides a stupid ass one-liner later on? No.

Kelly plays Sara Matthews and Meester plays Rebecca Evans. When the two first meet in the dorm room they’ve both been given they immediately hit it off. What Sara doesn’t realize is that she’s made too much of an impression on Rebecca and she quickly becomes obsessed with her. Sara is also troubled by an ex-boyfriend (Matt Lanter) who keeps calling but has met a new love interest in drummer Stephen Morterelli (Cam Gigandet). This doesn’t sit well with Rebecca who wants Sara all to herself. Her obsession turns to creepy and dangerous really fast.

The film is very light on thrills and violence (for a thriller). The first two thirds of the film actually play out more like a depressing character study drama leaving the viewer feeling more sorry for Rebecca than afraid of her but then of course the end turns to routine third act ‘B’ movie trash and we finally get some action. Meester is good as the troubled student. She looks gorgeous and she manages the difficult task of making her character frightening but also sympathetic in a way. You realize that shes insane but shes also sad and very lonely. Kelly looks beautiful but for the most part the movie has no real acting to speak of. The dialogue is weak and scares and thrills, like I said, are nearly nonexistent.

I didn’t understand the bit with the parents and why they were so afraid of her. The same with the old friend with whom she ran into. It didn’t really explain anything and it left me thinking why they even bothered.

“The Roommate” is irredeemably awful, and not just because character motivation is out the window, or because it couldn’t scare a six year old, but because it isn’t even fun. From the belabored exposition to the clumsy, unmemorable finale, first-time screenwriter Sonny Mallhi (credited executive producer of “Shutter” and “The Strangers”) fails outright. He’s either in the wrong line of work or trying to make a quick buck—I’m not sure which is worse, but neither paints a very flattering portrait.

This movie had so much more potential of being a true psychological thriller had the writers allowed Rebecca’s deranged character to shine, instead they focused on the dullness of Sara which brought true dullness to the movie. Their targeted audience obviously was the teen audience which for this particular movie was a mistake.

Perhaps it would have been better, or at least more exciting if the story would have concentrated on Rebecca as oppose to Sara. There should have been more of a back story written for Rebecca, because the audience really could have benefited from knowing what happened in Rebecca’s pass. Though there was the brief unannounced trip to her parents house during the Thanksgiving holiday, the scene briefly eluded to the parents being quite afraid of their (un)medicated-behind daughter, as did a trio of young women she probably attended high school with, there was no real insight or depth to that portion of the movie, or what part those characters played in Rebecca’s past life or present condition. This back-story, had there been one, could have been a serious opportunity to push the story forward and would have provided a more anticipated climax.

I rate the movie 3.5 out of 10 for the pretty ladies in the movie…You can give this miss…

Watch the trailer…

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