The Roommate (I) (2011)
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"The Roommate" is an unoriginal thriller of obsession with a storyline that is a rip-off "Single White Female". This teen version has two sexy lead actresses, Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester, and may entertain viewers that are not choosy. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Colega de Quarto" ("Roommate")
The good thing about The Roommate is that it is a pretty decent thriller. Even though it doesn't even come close to meeting the standards of a horror movie, it still delivers some chills and even some cheap jump scares. The acting is good as well. With the exception of Minka Kelly. Cam Gigandet delivers a solid sometimes annoying performance as Sarah's new beau. Even though he is not in the film for long, he lifts our spirits when things are going rough, which is pretty much every 10 minutes. But the real scene stealer here is Leighton Meester as the crazed roommate. Meester delivers a believable potent performance, psychotic one moment and sweet the next.
The bad things about the film are that in the very beginning it moves far too fast. Jumping from one thing to the next in the blink of an eye. Also, the writing really could've used a makeover. I mean, the dialogue in this film is ridiculous. All in all, the film is at times stupid and the deaths aren't very well executed, if executed at all. But the acting and characters keep you around for the show. Overall, The Roommate is a film I would recommend, but only to open-minded movie watchers.
The Roommate's biggest problem is that it is one big tease. It is stamped with a PG-13 rating, when it could've passed for a PG in 1982. There is a shower scene that is incredibly drawn out, and desperately wants to show below the waist and higher than the stomach but can't. It doesn't want to be racy or good. The makeout scenes could very well win the worst sex award as well.
The plot is a girl named Sara (Kelly) is starting College and gets a new dorm. Simple enough. She seems normal; tattoo of her deceased sister on her breast (wouldn't be surprised if when she was having sex with someone they screamed out "Emily" by accident), wants to learn, make new friends, simple. Much to her surprise, she returns home from the club to find she has a new roommate named Rebecca (Meester) an uneasy adolescent who becomes increasingly fascinated with her roommate. She begins to go through her things and be very overprotective about her. Then Sara discovers why she is the way she is.
My one question to the people behind this - why don't we get backstory on Rebecca? Why doesn't the film focus more on her? She is easily the more interesting one, and when we do find out the secret, we assume more backstory will brew. Negatory. None. We are just as clueless as we were. The minor clue towards the end doesn't help matters, and only turns them into a convoluted barrage of questions.
There is an animal murder, and like in Drag Me To Hell, it's horrifying. Why do horror movies these days portray an animal in danger or helplessness? Why do even the crazy harm animals? Let alone why is it incorporated in the film? She could've just let the animal loose and things would still play out the same. Nope. We have to witness another dreadful and upsetting animal murder for no apparent reason.
No character in this movie is likable either because no one is developed to that point. The main character's parents aren't even mentioned, or called once in the film. But her dead sister and her ex boyfriend get mentions. Plus I can tell right now Minka Kelly, a beautiful woman, is sporting too much of a Jessica Alba/Megan Fox look. Her hair looks darkened and her lipstick looks like a Fox tribute. Her Alba-like face is natural, obviously. I'm pretty sure she is aware of it too.
The Roommate is exactly what is wrong with modern day horror movies. There is no contrived suspense or anything to make this even the slightest bit likable. Even Billy Zane who was good in The Final Destination can't make this miserable mess any better. If had an R rating it may have been a little bit more tolerable, but I'm doubtful on that. It is Fatal Attraction mixed with Single White Female, and it creates a disastrous and lame film.
Starring: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, Billy Zane, and Alyson Michalka. Directed by: Christian E. Christiansen.
After a while we learn Sarah is a design major. Unlike her other classmates she has style something that all the money in the world can't buy according to her Design 101 instructor. Moving along, Sarah goes to a frat party with some of her new friends to get a feel of life away from home without a curfew. She meets a guy whose pick up lines in the real world would come off as lame and stalker like, but for some reason it's acceptable here. After the party, some of the guests are too intoxicated to make it home alone, so they're escorted back to their dorms. This is where we meet the ROOMMATE Rebecca (Leighton Meester.) Rebecca comes across innocent at first with no real reason for you to think otherwise. While the plot centers on Rebecca being obsessed with Sarah wanting to steal her identity, art is one thing they genuinely have in common. So Rebecca can draw art very well and that's all we get to know about her character other than she lives 20 minutes away and her parents are filthy rich and they don't get along. While Sarah and Rebecca are getting acquainted as roommates, Sarah begins to display her particular taste in life and Rebecca is taking mental notes. It feels like a friendship is starting to build until little by little Rebecca starts to mimic Sarah's behavior from illustrations of Sarah's favorite movie to copying her hair color. After a while, like any normal person, Sarah rations her time away with other friends from the college. This is where the s*^# starts to hit the fan. Rebecca of course doesn't like this and starts to become envious of everyone that is taking the time of her so called BFF. Like I said the psychotic behavior is starting to erupt but this is also the main problem of the film.
Rebecca is becoming jealous so she starts doing every SHE can think of to gain Sarah's attention again for her own psychotic gain. They range from body mutilation, harassing Rebecca's friends, and harming animals in a way that can't be imagined. I can only count a number of incidents towards Rebecca's insanity and in doing so her actions are left unresolved. There's really no aftermath to any of her behavior except one occasion where she manipulates Sarah's design instructor, but that was completely justified. It does take away from the point of the film. I wanted to be thrilled and turn in my seat, but I hardly moved. So much was left unanswered regarding Rebecca's behavior and back-story that instead of being scary the film turned into a comedy. When individuals lash out it's more entertaining to know where they came from and what exactly sent them over the edge. Jason was drowning while campers had sex, Freddy was burned alive for being a pedophile, and "The Count of Monte Cristo" was imprisoned for 13 years for crimes he did not commit. Those were justified. Why is Rebecca so crazy? It's not because her parents didn't love her. We're just told she's bipolar and takes medication. That by the way was brought up so remedial as if it was just saying, "make sure you guys buckle up, don't want a ticket." Scene by scene there are attempts to make Rebecca seem more sinister. Instead, I'm screaming, "GIVE ME MORE!" and that request is clearly ignored.
The climax came out of nowhere and it's build up jumped around like a king on a checkered board. Even so, the acting and reactions of someone trying to harm another person flew out of the window making me rationally clock out of the film. The roommate is barely entertaining and may make you say, "WOW" once or twice. The whole time I couldn't think of anything more than, "If this or this happened, it would've been much more entertaining." It's something that we have all seen before but a blessing none of us have to go through. There's a bad taste left in my mouth knowing how entertaining this film could have been if it didn't have the tight collar of a PG-13 rating. Not at all a must see in the least bit. There are plenty of films that surpassed this one in a foot race of the same genre leaving this one in last place. With all that being said, IT'S STILL JUST MY OPINION!!! 5/10 - Brandon Keith Avery