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Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Roommate

She has 99 problems. Being a bitch is one of them.

Rebecca is a misunderstood soul. A torturous, psychotic, closet lesbian soul with detachment issues from hell, but misunderstood nonetheless. And, before I tear this movie apart, I will say this - Leighton Meester is better than she has any right to be in this movie. Past her watchable performance, however, the film is one gigantic (gigandet?) failure. And by 'one gigantic failure', you should read that as 'one gigantic failure after another'. 

More after the cut --

It's the Prom Night (2008) version of Single White Female. Bear in mind that SWF is immensely entertaining, featuring award worthy performances and a psychologically taut script. It also features one of the most famous "movie kills", in which Jennifer Jason Leigh stabs a man to death with her high heel. The scene is copied in this film, almost shot for shot, just substituting a different weapon. The most shocking moment from this film? Leighton Meester rips out some girl's belly button ring. Granted, there are several moments in this film that should have been more shocking than that. Meester's Rebecca goes way above and far beyond the call of anyone's duty to keep her roommate Sara (played by the distractingly beautiful Minka Kelly) safe and comfortable. She'll kill if she has to. And, if we want a movie here, she has to. 

Most good horror films begin with some sort of obsession from its villain. It's where the slasher genre comes from. Here, however, is a bad horror film that doesn't know the first thing about its characters. Director Christian E. Christiansen (that's an actual name, folks) doesn't know the first thing about them, either. It is as if a glass ceiling is inches above everyone's heads, and they're all too lazy to break through it. 

Outside of "belly button-gate", the 'shocking' moments within the film are few and far between. Even Meester's stalking seems like something out of a Help! - you know, where Ringo is drunk and wandering around the city, laughing inappropriately and taking pictures of pictures. It's about that frightening. That isn't to discredit Meester, who is actually a talented girl, but is stuck in a rut. 

The supporting actors in this film are more like fillers than characters. Of course, every character here is paper thin and about as transparent as water. Just as flavorful, too. But, there's a special bland... er, brand of nothingness to anyone who isn't either Minka Kelly or Leighton Meester. It's as if Cam Gigandet, Billy Zane, Aly Michalka, and Danneel Harris were contractually obligated to be in this and A) didn't read the script, or B) weren't deemed important enough for the story. They're here, they're there... they're nowhere of consequence. 

There are clever bits of sound editing, but that seems to only come with the territory and knowing how to combine having seen movies like this before with an ability to mute a noise for a few seconds. But, even that isn't enough to shed light on the vacuum of this film.

If you're going in expecting a sexy, semi-violent PG-13 thriller, prepare to ask Christiansen for your money back personally. If you're going in expecting another Single White Female type success, you're already out of your mind. I went in with this mindset - Leighton Meester will be good, Minka Kelly will be hot, Cam Gigandet will be charming, and the movie will make me want to take a high heel to my eye. I wasn't let down.