Reviews

Review: The Roommate

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You may find yourself presented with an opportunity to watch The Roommate at some point in your life. Perhaps you’ll happen upon it while channel surfing one day, most likely in the afternoon afternoon on the USA network or some equivalent. Â Maybe it’ll screen on a plane. If you have a brother aged 13 or less, there’s a possibility that he will rent it. There’s even an outside chance that you genuinely believe it might be a decent way to spend a couple of hours. It is my civic duty to advise you that in all these scenarios, you must not view The Roommate.

You may find yourself presented with an opportunity to watch The Roommate at some point in your life. Perhaps you'll happen upon it while channel surfing one day, most likely in the afternoon afternoon on the USA network or some equivalent.  Maybe it'll screen on a plane. If you have a brother aged 13 or less, there's a possibility that he will rent it. There's even an outside chance that you genuinely believe it might be a decent way to spend a couple of hours. It is my civic duty to advise you that in all these scenarios, you must not view The Roommate. {{page_break}}

Ostensibly a remake of the 90s thriller Single White Female, The Roommate makes no effort and is thus not worthy of any attention whatsoever. Even a review seems superfluous. The plot (hip average girl is stalked by obsessive roommate) is presented with no surprises or even moments of interest. However you'd expect the story to develop is exactly how it does. 

Director Christian E. Christianson stages the proceedings with all the flair of a Lifetime TV movie. There is never anything even remotely resembling suspense, and the attempts at violence and sex lack menace and eroticism, respectively. This is a real shame. The least this film could have done was provide the audience with a little sleaze, but The Roommate will fail to excite even pre-pubescent boys. Further cementing the film's complete lack of identity, it's shot with the shiny, cheap digital video look that's so ubiquitous these days. 

It may be too much to expect that a film with all the flaws I've outlined have three-dimensional characters, but the lot we're provided with is particularly insulting. Everyone is boiled down to the most basic type: the lead character is a blank slate, her boyfriend is a hunky meathead. Worst of all is the titular evil roommate, who is given no explanation for her behavior beyond being simply a "crazy person".

About two thirds through, the film takes a detour to visit the home life of our dastardly teen villain, which amounts to a dalliance with depth at best. What could be a good way to show what lead this character to her devious ways is really nothing more than another excuse to remind the main character (and the audience) that this person is "crazy". Instead of offering any insight or context for the roommate's behavior, the mother merely asks "has she taken her meds?" Oh no, she's crazy! And crazy = evil.

Hopefully I've done enough to convince you to never view or even think about The Roommate.  Hopefully you're an intrepid enough movie viewer that you had no interest in this lump of nothingness in the first place, in which case this review can serve as a confirmation of your instincts. If you are someone who can muster some enjoyment out of "bad" films, know that The Roommate doesn't provide a single laugh at its expense. It's just that bland. The only thing about this movie that I will remember at all is its amusingly lame Facebook imitation:

It saddens me to learn that The Roommate was number one at the box office last weekend, making enough money in a few days to cover its meager budget. Was there really no other option for these poor souls? Don't be like them. Do something, anything else with your time. Movie tickets are extremely expensive. Buy yourself a nice dinner or something. The Roommate has nothing to offer you.


Overall Score: 4.00 – Terrible.   (4s are terrible in many ways. They’re bad enough that even diehard fans of its genre, director, or cast still probably won’t enjoy it at all, and everyone else will leave the theater incredibly angry. Not only are these not worth renting, you should even change the TV channel on them in the future.)