February 6, 2011

Movie Review: The Roommate (2011)

Single White Female for a new generation. Mix in a little Fatal Attraction and shake well. The resulting mix is then to be strained into a plain glass with care to ensure that any and all flavorful bits are removed. The served product is not to have any garnish, have no fancy napkin under it, nor should it be served with any appetizer. The goal is to put all the flash on the outside of the building, posters, trailers, and the like to draw in unsuspecting audiences and then present them with the blandest of products. The key, from Screen Gems side of the equation, is to not only lure them in but leave them suckered into believing they have seen something special. If you go by the audience I was in, I think it worked.

The thing to remember here is that this is a product, do not fool yourself into thinking it is a film or even a movie. There is one reason for the existence and that is to separate fools from their money, well it also serves to flesh out a resume for those moving from television into the movies (have to start somewhere, right?). I am sad to admit to being one of those fools. My optimistic approach to movies gets taken advantage of an awful lot, more than I care to think of and I suspect it will continue happening going forward.

Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) is Sara Matthews, a girl from the mid-west looking to make it big at fashion school. Her roommate is a local girl named Rebecca (Leighton Meester). Rebecca is looking for a friend and has set her target on Sara. What follows is a whole lot of nothing. Seriously. So little happens in this Single White Female knock off that at times you have to wonder why you continue to watch. Perhaps it is the hope of something, anything, that keeps us going.

Rebecca complains when Sara doesn't call when she is late, she sits in their room and stars. Nothing particularly frightening, maybe a little off or weird, but not terribly scary. Of course, why you would put up with her is another question. Instead of being passive/aggressive with occasional outbursts of violence, as a role like this should have been, we just a weird girl doing weird things without her medication.

Not scary, not thrilling, just a whole lot of nothing. This is a movie, sorry, product that is more concerned with surface veneer than any actual substance. The whole medication thing feels like a throwaway bit. The few moments of violence are neutered by a PG-13 rating. Rebecca is a caricature of a psychotic personality. I hate to say that her actions here barely register on the weird factor. Of course, Sara is not an innocent here either. She seems blind to Rebecca's hangers-on quirks or else she would be looking to get a new roommate, or listen to her party-loving friend a little more, at least she seems genuine.

What it comes down to is whether or not you have what it takes to endure the vapid CW sheen placed on a script with no substance. Can you deal with watching characters with no personality stagger down the predictable paths to an inevitable conclusion. And to think this doesn't even get to the empty headed characters played by Cam Gigandet and Billy Zane.

Unless you are dedicated to seeing all or most of the new releases that hit theaters, take a pass on this one. If you choose to spend time with this, don't come crying to me when it is all over and you are left waiting for a movie to start and a product to end.

Not Recommended.

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