Release Date: February 4, 2011
Director: Christian E. Christiansen
Writer: Sonny Mallhi, Nick Bylsma, Chris Bylsma, Richard Robertson
Cast: Leighton Meester, Shirley Norris, Nick Bylsma, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, Lauren Alfano, Aly Michalka, Danneel Ackles, Frances Fisher, Tomas Arana, Billy Zane, Nina Dobrev, Matt Lanter, Kat Graham, Johannes Raassina, Cameron Fisher Brousseau, Evan Michael Brown.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 91 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures, Screen Gems, Vertigo Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Language: English Country: USA
Budget: $16,000,000 (estimated)
It’s nice when you’re presented with a thriller that the majority of people can relate to. Moving off to college, nervous with jitters, and not knowing who your first college roommate might be. You ask yourself questions like, “Will my roommate be clean and neat? Will we get along? Will they respect my property? ” It’s a role of the dice that doesn’t seem too disappointing for most. What most can’t relate to is the question “Is my new roommate a demented psychopath who wants to steal my identity?” Then finding out it’s true. That is the case in this rainbow version of the 1992 classic film ‘Single White Female.’
The film starts with our main character Sarah Matthews (Minka Kelly) moving into her dorm. Sarah is starting to build relationships with other housemates, but they seem paper-thin. Still in the opening credits the acting starts becoming awkward from introductions that are in no way realistic. If you’re shopping at Wal-Mart and someone drives they’re shopping cart into yours, I don’t think everyone will smile then introduce him or herself happily.
After a while we learn Sarah is a design major. Unlike her other classmates she has style something that all the money in the world can’t buy according to her Design 101 instructor. Moving along, Sarah goes to a frat party with some of her new friends to get a feel of life away from home without a curfew. She meets a guy whose pick up lines in the real world would come off as lame and stalker like, but for some reason it’s acceptable here. After the party, some of the guests are too intoxicated to make it home alone, so they’re escorted back to their dorms. This is where we meet the ROOMMATE Rebecca (Leighton Meester.)
Rebecca comes across innocent at first with no real reason for you to think otherwise. While the plot centers on Rebecca being obsessed with Sarah wanting to steal her identity, art is one thing they genuinely have in common. So Rebecca can draw art very well and that’s all we get to know about her character other than she lives 20 minutes away and her parents are filthy rich and they don’t get along. While Sarah and Rebecca are getting acquainted as roommates, Sarah begins to display her particular taste in life and Rebecca is taking mental notes. It feels like a friendship is starting to build until little by little Rebecca starts to mimic Sarah’s behavior from illustrations of Sarah’s favorite movie to copying her hair color. After a while, like any normal person, Sarah rations her time away with other friends from the college. This is where the s*^# starts to hit the fan. Rebecca of course doesn’t like this and starts to become envious of everyone that is taking the time of her so called BFF. Like I said the psychotic behavior is starting to erupt but this is also the main problem of the film.
Rebecca is becoming jealous so she starts doing every SHE can think of to gain Sarah’s attention again for her own psychotic gain. They range from body mutilation, harassing Rebecca’s friends, and harming animals in a way that can’t be imagined. I can only count a number of incidents towards Rebecca’s insanity and in doing so her actions are left unresolved. There’s really no aftermath to any of her behavior except one occasion where she manipulates Sarah’s design instructor, but that was completely justified. It does take away from the point of the film. I wanted to be thrilled and turn in my seat, but I hardly moved. So much was left unanswered regarding Rebecca’s behavior and back-story that instead of being scary the film turned into a comedy. When individuals lash out it’s more entertaining to know where they came from and what exactly sent them over the edge. Jason was drowning while campers had sex, Freddy was burned alive for being a pedophile, and “The Count of Monte Cristo” was imprisoned for 13 years for crimes he did not commit. Those were justified. Why is Rebecca so crazy? It’s not because her parents didn’t love her. We’re just told she’s bipolar and takes medication. That by the way was brought up so remedial as if it was just saying, “make sure you guys buckle up, don’t want a ticket.” Scene by scene there are attempts to make Rebecca seem more sinister. Instead, I’m screaming, “GIVE ME MORE!” and that request is clearly ignored.
The climax came out of nowhere and it’s build up jumped around like a king on a checkered board. Even so, the acting and reactions of someone trying to harm another person flew out of the window making me rationally clock out of the film. The roommate is barely entertaining and may make you say, “WOW” once or twice. The whole time I couldn’t think of anything more than, “If this or this happened, it would’ve been much more entertaining.” It’s something that we have all seen before but a blessing none of us have to go through. There’s a bad taste left in my mouth knowing how entertaining this film could have been if it didn’t have the tight collar of a PG-13 rating. Not at all a must see in the least bit. There are plenty of films that surpassed this one in a foot race of the same genre leaving this one in last place.