Review by Rob Carnevale
GOSSIP Girl‘s Leighton Meester is the best thing about The Roommate, an otherwise tepid teen thriller that pales by comparison to the likes of Single White Female.
Meester plays Rebecca, the seemingly perfect roommate of the film’s title who develops an unhealthy infatuation with freshman Sara (Minka Kelly) and slowly reveals herself to be a psycho.
It’s a performance in search of a better script as Meester invests a believably unhinged quality to her character via looks and the odd tic that would seem to warrant deeper exploration.
Unfortunately, under Christian E Christiansen’s pedestrian direction, she is denied the opportunity to [literally] carve out a more memorable psycho, especially as so many of her defining acts take place off-camera.
Instead, Kelly’s much blander Sara takes centre stage as she attempts to balance budding friendships with an obvious romance with Cam Gigandet’s eye-candy drummer.
Similarly lacklustre support comes from a variety of TV stars hoping for big screen breaks (Vampire Diaries fans should pay particular attention) or Billy Zane as a predictably slimy fashion professor.
Perhaps the most damning aspect of Christiansen’s direction, however, is its slavish adherence to genre while keeping things teen friendly.
Hence, what could still have emerged as a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of guilty pleasure instead winds up as a tedious, bloodless, charisma free bore where even the girl fight finale seems to pull it’s punches!
Running time: 92mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: September 12, 2011