Roommates are like a Box of Chocolates...
image from beyondhollywood.com
RANT: Went to the box office today and chatted with the ticket taker behind the window. She asked me to let her know how good The Roommate was because her daughter was interested in seeing it. I won't give it away here, but I did return to the box office to let her know my thoughts.
SYNOPSIS: College freshman Sara thinks she has found the perfect dorm roommate, Rebecca. That is, until Rebecca starts exhibiting obsessive and violent behavior.
In the tradition of Single White Female and Obsessed, director Christian E. Christiansen brings a new obsessive thriller to the screen. Taking place at the University of Los Angeles, Sara Matthews (Minka Kelly) arrives at the dormitory and anxiously awaits the arrival of her new roommate. Finally meeting Rebecca (Leighton Meester) after a night of drinking at a fraternity party, Sara sees that they could be best friends. Of course, once Rebecca finds that Sara has other friends and other interests, their relationship become strained by Rebecca's "over-protectiveness" and aggressiveness.
Rebecca is alternately sweet and creepy. Two of the best sequences Christiansen shoots with her involve Rebecca slowly and silently stalking Sara's boyfriend Stephen (Cam Gigandet) in the aisles of the college library. The other is a great zooming shot where Rebecca sits barely visible behind the front window of a store across the street from her best friend. And the extent to which Rebecca will go in order to protect Sara from outside threats - such as furry kittens, dorm mates in the common showers, and flirty fashion design professors - is creative and unnerving.
The story is suspenseful, although predictable and somewhat given away by the trailers and commercials. As with any obsessive psychotic friend film, the success lies solely on the villain. In this case, Leighton Meester plays it perfectly. Tracy (Alyson Michalka from television's Hellcats) and her belly button find out the hard way in the showers during an always classic homage to Hitchcock's Psycho.
Of course, The Roommate is not for everyone. But the theater was filled with couples and groups of young ladies. The Roommate is nowhere near Single White Female or All About Eve, but it's good enough for a bucket of popcorn.
Worth: Matinee or Netflix
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