By Jack Rico
‘The Roommate’ starring Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester, should be considered an official remake of Barbet Schroeder’s 1992 hit, ‘Single White Female’. Its plot, a roommate with a mental disorder who wants to look and be just like her friend, are almost identical. This new remake version, perhaps intended for a younger female audience, is unexceptional. It fails to improve upon the original, from its acting to the dialogue to the direction, it might as well have been sent straight to DVD, or Lifetime. But because its two female leads are so beautiful and sexy, it unapologetically slips into the realm of guilty pleasure.
The premise of ‘The Roommate’ is slightly different than the ‘SWF’. Sara Matthews (Minka Kelly) a new college student is assigned to room with Rebecca (Leighton Meester), a rich, pretty girl who unbeknownst to Sara, suffers from a personality disorder. As time passes by, their relationship grows stronger and Rebecca becomes more possessive of her friend. Little by little we see her eliminate all the things that make Sara unhappy until her ‘good’ intentions become too dangerous to ignore.
Yes, it is true that the script has no surprises or twists worth being excited about, the direction of Christian E. Christiansen is trite and worthy of Lifetime’s top 10 best, and the thrills are stale and flat, but Roommate’s sexiness and attractive cast, are hard to knock. As a result, the ‘bad’ aspects are amusing and you just go along with it waiting for another hottie to get killed or pummeled.
Whether it is a coincidence or just deliberate casting, Kelly and Meester look like twin sisters, Meester looking a tad younger. Nevertheless, it works specially well when Meester ‘becomes’ Sara in the final stretch of the film.
All in all, ‘The Roommate’ is a forgettable film, but it is never so bad that it sinks to the point of you walking out. People will laugh and enjoy the bad brushing it off as cheap escapism on a good, fun Saturday night out with the ladies.