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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Review - The Roommate
Friday, February 04, 2011

Poor Sara Matthews. Matthews, played by Minka Kelly, is a girl who was a serious loser in the random roommate lottery at the University of Los Angeles. She got stuck with the psychopathic Rebecca, played by Leighton Meester, as her roommate. On the plus side, she did get one heck of a nicely furnished dorm room. The place looked more like the University of Raymour & Flanigan.

To play Rebecca I’m guessing Meester spent a little extra time with Cobra Starship because she's a girl who’s gone very very bad. Unfortunately, that’s Rebecca’s only quality as The Roommate suffers from a lack of any sort of character development. Everyone seems to have one quality, or in the case of a few characters, none. Sara is naive. Stephen, Sara’s boyfriend, played by Cam Gigandet, is kind of unintentionally creepy (attempts to be adorable at the age of 28 just don’t work, even if you’re playing a college student). He actually seemed less creepy when he was evil bad boy Kevin Volchok on The O.C. Perhaps a reversion to Volchok and that character’s vehicular manslaughter days would have spiced things up a bit. Everyone else in the film is just sort of there.

The Roommate also doesn’t give very much of a back story on any of the characters. We know Sara is from midwest, has a deceased sister, and wants to be in fashion, but that’s about it. We learn Rebecca is on medication, but the writers really blew quite a few opportunities to give her more depth, most notably the scenes at her parents’ house and the scene involving a former high school classmate, played by Nina Dobrev. There are one paragraph bios on Facebook that have more to them than these characters.

Almost the entire movie is an anti-climax. We know Rebecca is a psycho early on, but we never find out why, and until a fight scene at the end there’s really very little action. The movie tries to be a psychological thriller, but without letting us into the psycho’s psyche that can’t happen. I will say, Meester does a fine job of playing a psychopath and the lighting and makeup team really made her look creepy, which is a pretty difficult feat.

If The Roommate proves one thing it’s this - mere mortals should not stand next to Minka Kelly. Meester, Alyson Michalka, who’s one of my favorite Hellcats, and Nina Dobrev, who are all gorgeous women, all looked almost regular next to her. Damn you Derek Jeter!

Enjoyability: 2.5 out of 5

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:40 PM  
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