Rated PG-13 for standard teen horror stuff, and some sexy lesbian kissing. Not sexy enough, but sexy regardless. After Black Swan, will there ever be anything hotter? God I’m already rambling and we haven’t even gotten into the review yet. Good sign.
Starring: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Cam Gigandet, Billy Zane
Written by: Sonny Mallhi
Directed by: Christian E. Christiansen
There’s something I heard Kevin Smith say awhile ago and I’m bringing out of the moth balls because I think it is fitting to describe this movie. Watching The Roommate is equal to when a girl is giving you a great blowjob then decides to stop and do a handjob instead; it starts off okay and there’s moments where you think shit is finally going to go down, but then all of a sudden it decides to not pull the trigger and instead just slowly limps (or faps I guess if we’re continuing this analogy) its way to the finish line. The end result? It still feels okay, but the mouth was sooooo much better.
Minka Kelly stars as Sara Matthews, a Midwestern girl who travels to the big city of Los Angeles, California to go to college. On her first night, she goes out with a Kesha-like dorm neighbor (Alyson Michalka) and gets really drunk at the frat where she meets a charisma-less frat boy drummer (Cam Gigandet). After he informs her that the punch she was drinking was spiked so the frat guys could get their rape on (I guess it was a joke, but I blacked out whenever he spoke), he helps her back to her dorm and gets a kiss, despite the fact that he has not really shown any value besides being, like, totally hot. Why hasn’t this happened to me?!?
*looks in a mirror*
As Sara stumbles in, she meets her roommate Rebecca (Leighton Meester) for the first time but it’s forgettable although it seems a little strange she’d be hanging out in the dark. Maybe she’s a vampire. That’d be sexy. The next day, they formally meet and in a blink of an eye, they are super best friends doing fun stuff like talking about Sara’s ex from Iowa (Matt Lanter, who you’ll recognize from the Friedberg/Seltzer movies…or maybe you won’t because you aren’t dumb enough to sit through them like me) and adopting an alley cat which they name “Cuddles” (awwwwww). Soon, but not soon enough, Sara starts to realize that Rebecca isn’t as nice as it seems; in fact, she seems a bit possessive of her and overly intense about their friendship. And since The Roommate would be boring otherwise, Rebecca goes to great lengths to keep their friendship alive by some dirty (but NOT DIRTY ENOUGH) deeds like ripping belly button rings out, getting teachers fired, and possibly…MURDER?!?
Look, going into something like The Roommate you aren’t expecting a deep character study or anything so the fact that anyone besides Kelly and Meester are forgettable and useless is forgivable (although props to Billy Zane for existing). The “romance” between Sara and FratDrummer is dull and they lack any sort of chemistry, so it feels like a gigantic waste of time. Michalka is barely in it and there’s really no other people worth mentioning because they only get a few lines and they are just plot devices to reveal Rebecca’s crazy side.
So if the majority of the characters that populate this movie are useless, that means the two main characters better be watchable. They got it half-right; Leighton Meester actually makes a pretty damn good psychopath. I’ve never watched her do anything outside of a stint on Entourage and that NBC show Surface so I was unaware of her true abilities but this is a sign she could branch out if she chose to do something other than hang by on her looks. It’s just too bad the writing and the movie suck to the point of where she’s going to be dragged down with it. Minka Kelly, on the other hand, sort of deserves to be dragged down because she was miscast and felt completely out of place. I’ve never been a fan of her and nothing here showed me that was capable of much more than what she’s being doing since Friday Night Lights gave her a chance to land more gigs. Again not that this called for more, but a good actress will be able to elevate the material; she just made it worse.
Now back to the blowjob analogy; The Roommate is stuck in PG-13 hell and in turn, it can’t do anything to the fullest. Rebecca is crazy, but not crazy enough and all her antics keep getting left to the imagination because they decide to cut away. There is little to no blood and if I remember right, only one person dies (and no one realizes or cares, so it was useless anyway). Hell they even try to throw a little titillation in there with Rebecca phone sexing and kissing another woman, but PG-13 titillation is not enough for even a 13 year old to get off to. If they had the balls and went R and could have done some more crazy stuff, this possibly could have been more fun. Instead, it’s half-assed, lacks tension, and just feels like one giant edited for TBS tease.
As you can tell, I wasn’t big on this movie and I doubt you would be too. The premise is done to death, but could have been fun in the “girls be crazy, yo” kind of way. There is no fun to be had here; played very serious but with a horrible script and acting (except, sigh, Meester and Zane), The Roommate just hints at the movie it should have been. That is, R-Rated and bloody as fuck. Also blowjobs. Just wanted to say that one more time.