Don’t Move In With “The Roommate” — Even Figuratively Speaking

Posted: February 20, 2011 in movies
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"The Roommate" Movie Poster

Just when PG-13-rated teen horror looks like it might be finally — and, at this point, mercifully — on the way out, some Hollywood suit thinks there might be some life in the old dog yet and a second-tier outfit like Rogue Pictures or, in this case, Sony’s Screen Gems division, decides to inflict one more of them, like The Roommate, on us for what we’re sure just has to be the last fucking time.

And, of course, it never is, because bored fools like me with nothing better to do on a late Saturday morning decide “ehhhh — what the hell?” and plunk down five bucks to see it even though we more or less know beyond any shadow of a doubt that all we’re doing is wasting not only our money but about an hour and a half of our lives that we’re never going to get back.

So, yeah, I’m stupid. I freely admit it. And so are hundreds of thousands of other people, apparently, because this rehashed pile of shit was number one at the box office a week or so back.

Want the rundown? Okay, since you asked for it. Nice little Des Moines farmgirl Sara Matthews (Minka Kelly) wants to make it big in the world of fashion design and enrolls at the fictitious Los Angeles University (LAU for short), where her dorm (and by the way, these are the most unrealistic college dorms you’ll ever see — the common areas especially look more like something from a luxury high-rise) roommate, Rebecca (Leighton Meester — Jesus the names of these late-teen stars-in-training  are brutally pretentious and/or insufferably lame) makes a good impression at first but in due course turns out to be a possessive, psychotic bitch.

Seen this before, anyone? Sure you have — it was called Single White Female and it wasn’t very good at the time. It’s even worse, however, “updated” and filtered through a collegiate lens (see? I can be pretentious too, it takes absolutely no effort). There are, however, a few key differences besides the age gap between this film and the one it was pretty much ripped off from completely. The girls don’t take in a stray dog that psycho-roommate later kills, they take in a stray cat. Psycho roommate doesn’t just disguise herself as nice roommate and then fuck nice roommate’s ex-boyfriend, she disguises herself as nice roommate and then fucks and kills nice roommate’s ex-boyfriend. Psycho roommate doesn’t have a sister who died in early childhood, nice roommate has the sister who dies in early childhood. Nice roommate doesn’t have a gay male best friend, she has a gay female best friend. Nice roommate isn’t hit on by a lecherous, perverted work boss, she’s hit on by a lecherous, perverted college professor (played by Billy Zane who I, and I’m sure every other rational human being on the planet, hoped had just gone away for good, but apparently he hasn’t). Oh, and nice roomate has, of course, a nice frat-guy boyfriend who’s in a band and treats her better than you’d expect a guy in his position would (played by Cam Gigandet — another stupid-ass name).

So you’ve seen this before, quite literally, it wasn’t any great shakes then either, and it’s even worse now. It’s directed by some guy named Christian E. Christiansen and his name is about the only thing of even passing interest that he adds to the proceedings. You now have in your grasp all the information you could possibly need to know about this film, and probably quite a bit more. Life is short. Go make the most of it. Even if the weather’s shitty (which it is here today).  Anything you can do with your time is better than watching this. You’re either gonna thank me later or wish you’d listened to me if you decide to ignore my advice — the choice is yours.

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