“The Roommate” is one of the newest “hot” films in theaters today, earning $15.6 million the opening weekend in late January, and topping the Super Bowl weekend box office. The question is: why? It can’t be the superb acting or production because it did not exist nor, can it be linked to creativity. This movie can be classified into the “psycho stalker woman” sub-genre along with plenty of other films throughout history, like “Misty For Me,” “Fatal Attraction,” “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” “Poison Ivy,” “Swimfan,” “Obsessed,” the list goes on. All of these possess a seductive and bitter woman who desires to have someone that she simply cannot.
“The Roommate” is the newest edition to this sub-category. Directed by Christian E. Christensen, but appearing to be an almost identical copy to the 1992 Bridget Fonda/Jennifer Jason Leigh thriller “Single White Female,” the story follows Sara (Derek Jeter’s gorgeous fiance, Minka Kelly.) She is a beautiful freshman girl whose new roommate, Rebecca (Leigton Meester) forms an obsession with Sara, and ultimately tries to scare away/kill off anyone who tries to get close to Sara. These people include Tracy (Alyson Michalka), a tall, conventionally attractive blonde girl who finds fun in letting loose and partying. Rebecca feels Tracy is a bad influence and an incident between the two occurs in one of the dorm showers. Stephen (Cam Gigandet) a highly attractive fraternity brother, who has romantic motives regarding Sara, is another one of these people. Sara, however, has baggage of her own, having lost her sister, Emily to death, and now sports a tattoo of her sister’s name on her left breast. Along with this, she has a passive conflict with her high school ex-boyfriend (Matt Lanter, an Abercromie & Fitch model), who decided to take one of the last slots to attend Brown University as opposed to the fictional college, University of Los Angeles, alongside Sara.
The two girls Sara and Rebecca form a close-bonded relationship at first, confiding in one another and revealing their intimate pasts and secrets. In Sara’s case, unfortunately, she’s providing Rebecca with all the racy details to someday use against her in her plots and schemes to possess her. Keep in mind, Minka Kelly and Leigton Meester look scarily similar. This plays a part in some of the later scenes as Rebecca progressively acts freakier and crazier.
The storyline fails to be realistic in many aspects. The signs that Rebecca “isn’t all there” are beyond obvious from the very beginning. Along with this, Rebecca brutally injures blonde, party-girl Tracy in one of the dorm showers. Rebecca tells Tracy that she will kill her if she tells a soul—so Tracy changes dorms prior to the incident. However, it’s safe to assume that most people would inconspicuously file a police report after that situation, regardless. Another example is that Rebecca punches herself and inflicts wounds, including a knife slash across her stomach. When Sara notices, Rebecca lies and says she was beat up in the alley by a random stranger. Rebecca tells Sara she does not want the police knowing and Sara swears to secrecy that she will not tell the police or anyone else. WHAT!? Why wouldn’t an innocent person contact the police after being brutally beat up by a random stranger? How does Sara not see these red flags?
In reference to the acting, Rebecca (Leigton Meester) acts like your typical, depthless, deranged psychopath—without any personality, or substance added to her character. She only supplies a series of awkward stares, odd remarks and typical “crazy woman” actions. Her character does not exude much emotion or passion in the performance. Sara (Minka Kelly) isn’t off the hook though, either. Sara acts way too relaxed, dazed and forgiving about the situation regarding her psycho roommate Rebecca. It is apparent from early on that something is off about Rebecca; her clinginess and frantic behavior should have rang a bell from the very beginning. Maybe it did, and Sara was in denial? Who knows? But it’s clear that the directors stretched their imaginations way too much in an attempt to keep the storyline going.
The only good thing that can be said about this performance is that it’s your typical Hollywood, bubblegum and teenage type of film. In that sense, Christensen is a genius because it draws the young crowd (particularly college students) as well as some adults into cinemas. The film is filled with a handful of “hot girls” as well as a couple of good-looking boys to drule over. With that said, fans of Channel 11 are content seeing a swarm of CW Actresses. These include Blair Waldorf of “Gossip Girl,” Leigton Meester (Rebecca, one of the main characters), Marti Perkins of “Hell Cats,” (Alyson Michalka), Rachel Gatina of “One Tree Hill,” (Danneel Harris), and Elena Gilbert/Katherine Pierce of “The Vampire Diaries,” (Nina Dobrev).
Even if you’re the biggest fan of the CW, watch their beautiful faces on television for free. Wait for this film to come out on DVD, and save yourself both the money and disappointment. “The Roommate” is ultimately a great storyline, though used many times before. However, the producers, the directors, the writers and the actors butchered a great idea for a film. This movie deserves about 1 1/2 to 2 stars on a scale of 5, or approximately a 5/10. It is nothing extraordinary. If you decide to see this movie regardless, go into the theatre expecting your typical, cheesy, non-scary, teeny-bopper horror flick.
Photo Credit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1265990/