Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review: The Roommate

In my mind there were only two reasons to watch The Roommate – Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester.  Then I sacrificed two hours of my life only to discover that there is actually no reason to watch this movie.  Never have I seen a worse collection of acting performances in one feature film.  Not in Johnny English Reborn, not in the 2011 remake of Footloose, and not even in Jack & Jill – a film which marked the moment Adam Sandler’s career finally hit rock bottom.  I am sure that at some other point in my life I have made this proclamation, but I am also sure that it has never been more true.  Heck, even the faux political commercial I made for Art 101 during my freshman year at Andover (cut to Tone Loc’s Wild Thing) would put this movie to shame.  And yes, you read that right…Tone Loc.

But I digress.  The movie is not a credited remake, but it is a carbon copy of Single White Female starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda with just barely enough tweaks to make it appear like an original – albeit inferior - movie.  The plot of SWF-redux follows Minka Kelly’s Sara – a girl from a small town, who comes to Los Angeles to earn a college degree and fulfill her dreams of making it in the world of fashion.  The only thing standing in her way is her roommate Rebecca (Leighton Meester) – a very troubled woman who has an unhealthy obsession with Kelly’s Sara.

The plot provides you with the typical scenes one would expect from any mediocre movie set on a college campus – frat parties, clubbing, vomiting, flirty scenes in the school library, and every other cliché that one can fit into the script.  Needless to say, writers (and I use that term lightly) Sonny Mallhi and Nick Bylsma don’t dig very deep into the bag of literary tricks on this project.  What exasperates the lack of creativity in their script is the weak cast, which just does not have enough talent to elevate anything in any way.

I am not going to fault Mika Kelly, because she is…Minka Kelly.  I won’t say she is terrible in this movie though she is not very good.  Her Sara is another version of the same character she is always asked to play – a very attractive, very sweet woman, who is oblivious to the machinations going on around her.  There’s not enough depth here to build a feature film around her performance, and that’s where the failure of Leighton Meester comes into play.  I guess her poor showing as the menacing roommate should come as no surprise as I don’t think she has ever been good in anything, but her lack of screen presence is palpable. 

As for the rest of the cast, two words – who cares?  Billy Zane? Bad.  Nina Dobrev?  Worse.  Cam Gigandet?  Worst.  I would name and rate the rest of the supporting players but you have probably have never heard of them and probably never will.  It’s an understatement to say that it’s lean pickings in the talent department from top to bottom, and that’s why I recommend you avoid this movie at all cost.  Don’t watch it; don’t think about it; don’t even talk about it with your friends and family.  Should a copy of this DVD come across your desk, I suggest you put a pair of gloves on and toss it in the trash.  The stench from this film is something not easily removed.  You’ve been warned.

Standout Performance: Anyone who passed on this film.


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