During my freshman year of college, my roommate was arrested for shrooming in our dorm while watching Alice in Wonderland. The last time I saw him, he was still deep down the rabbit hole, being reprimanded by cops and singing the Caterpillar song. The following year, my roommate was a white New York model named Nick who dressed like a pimp, said “yo” before and after every sentence and liked to do naked aerobics every morning before class—including jumping jacks—in front of an open window. Nick also never flushed the toilet because, according to him, “Yo Barry, we’re conserving water and saving the environment, yo!” My junior and senior years, I bunked with The Brain, a wanna-be mad scientist who once turned our entire apartment into a dark room for his photography project and instructed me not to light a match or the entire stairwell could go up in flames.
These were the things I thought about during The Roommate, a “thriller” so bad it made Nick’s jumping jacks seem like high art.
Leighton Meester, the star of TV’s Gossip Girl, is Rebecca, the unstable, completely bonkers but initially pleasant roommate of Sara (Minka Kelly, who played Autumn in the idiotic final scene of 500 Days of Summer). Stephen, Sara’s boyfriend, is played by Cam Gigandet (James in the Twilight movies—is the cast beginning to wave a red flag at you?).
Rebecca, whose tiny physique and cold eyes make her resemble a demonic Kate Moss, stalks Sara because, well, it’s a horror movie. Despite hints of a backstory and a pointless sequence where we meet Rebecca’s parents, we never learn anything meaningful about her. A scene where she murders a kitten is supposed to elicit gasps but earns more of a confused shrug.
Meester has a climactic, unintentionally hilarious “I-did-all-this-for-you!” monologue that should make her a Worst Actress frontrunner at next year’s Razzie Awards. Meanwhile, Kelly smiles incessantly—even in scenes where no sentient human would. Some of this is so bad it’s funny, but most of the time it’s simply bad, a gutless clunker that takes a potentially intriguing premise and steers it in all the wrong directions. Meester and another actress even share a messy kiss in a desperate nod to Black Swan fans and horny teenage boys. Both groups will be sorely disappointed.
I realize that most of the audience this movie caters to will be too young to remember or care about Single White Female. However, considering how much The Roommate steals from that far-superior 1992 thriller, the filmmakers really should have inserted a credit. Then again, perhaps leaving the credit out was a more respectful thing to do.