It was while surfing the channels I noticed this movie was on. As a fan of Leighton Meester, I decided to watch it having completely missed this movie when (or if) it was released at the cinema.
The plotline is very similar to that of another obsessive roommate movie, Single White Female. The main difference being rather than Meester’s character, Rebecca, wanting to be Minka Kelly’s character, Sara, Rebecca wants to be Sara’s only friend.
To be honest the film starts off pretty slow and although the audience knows that there is something not quite right about Rebecca, you can’t help but feeling slightly sorry for her. It is not until Sara’s other friend abandons her at a nightclub and Rebecca comes to her rescue, do you start to see the mask slip.
Rebecca will go to any means necessary in order to keep Sara in her life. She threatens the girl who left Sara at the club, while in the shower; she takes care of an over friendly lecturer by setting him up (though this is not without good reason); she even makes sure that Sara’s ex-boyfriend no longer bothers her.
Yet, the film teeters on the very edge of being the average “straight to DVD” fare and a truly unnerving film. There are moments where you think that Rebecca will fully snap and go that one step too far. In one instance she does, but whether it’s due to the cut or the script, it doesn’t come off as completely shocking. This is the major failing in this film. If you really want to go the whole hog with the unhinged female, then look to films such as Misery, Fatal Attraction or The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Every single villain in these films demonstrated truly what lengths someone would go.
This isn’t the fault of Meester, for she managed really well with the material she was given. She plays Rebecca with a certain vulnerability that could change in a heartbeat to show how ruthless she really could be. For me, she was the standout character in the movie, yet it was still an underdeveloped role. We were given tiny snippets of what made Rebecca they way she was, yet there was still much to be explored.
The other characters in the movie were pretty much your stereotypical heroine, hero, lecturer, friend from back home etc. When bad things happened to the supporting characters, I felt very little since I knew that they were cannon fodder for Rebecca. Even now I have difficulty remembering their names.
By the climatic showdown, I had a good idea what was coming. I hadn’t lost complete interest in the film as I was hoping that something new or refreshing could be pulled out of the bag. Sadly, it was just a poor choreographed smackdown between Sara and Rebecca. I knew what the outcome would be.
Overall, it did keep me semi-entertained, but that was mainly due to Meester. Apart from that, it just seemed like a very cheap, watered down imitation of Single White Female for this generation.
RATING: 2.5 Stars
THE ROOMMATE (2011)
DIRECTOR: Christian E. Christiansen
STARRING: Leighton Meester, Billy Zane, Minka Kelly,