The Roommate (2011) – Review

1 Star

A silly and highly preposterous so-called ‘thriller’ that owes more than a little to better films Single White Female and Fatal Attraction. Minka Kelly is Sara, a college freshman at the University of Los Angeles, fresh off the plane form Idaho and seeking a degree in fashion. She is the seemingly perfect girl. At least that’s what her crazy dorm mate Rebbecca believes, leading to an obsessive relationship that eventually turns to murder. If that plot description sounds derivative that’s because it is. The cinematography is particularly flat and director Christian E. Christiansen has unwisely chosen to shot the film almost entirely in close-ups. I’m not sure if this was a stylistic move to induce a sense of invasion, or voyeurism, but it becomes an annoyance very early on.

Minka Kelly, who is so radiant on the small screen in Friday Night Lights, is lost here in a generic role that asks her to play two notes; scared and upset. The heavy lifting is left to Leighton Meester, doing her best Robert DeNiro impersonation as the manic and manipulative sociopath roaming the campus. Meester is a competent actress and may have been able to deliver had she been given a character that in any way resembled an actual person. As written neither woman is anything more than a caricature. Billy Zane of Titanic fame turns up in a small role as an overtly-sexual college fashion professor in an unnecessary subplot that does nothing other than expand the anemic script to feature length. The Roommate is a bad film in the worse sense; the kind of picture that is not only incompetent, but possesses contempt for its intended audience.

Stars: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet

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