"The Roommate" Review: Nothing Serious to See Here

The Roommate is exactly what you thought it would be: a plagiarized, campus-set Single White Female pitched to teens. The Roommate traces over scenes from Barbet Schroeder’s sleepover classic with no notable improvement (the big-gasp “This girl is crazy” moment moves from the hairdresser's to a tattoo parlor; the menaced puppy is now a kitten).

Midwesterner Sara (Minka Kelly) arrives at SoCal “ULA” campus—the school colors are apparently the cold blue-and-gray endemic to thrillers from the mid-'90s—where she meets her new roommate, Rebecca (Leighton Meester). Sara is at first flattered by the attention of clingy Rebecca, unthreatening enough with her curled-up voice and curtains of lank blond hair. But while Rebecca seems content to limit her college experience to her dorm-mate, Sara is spread between party-girl friends, a hip older lesbian pal, an ex-boyfriend, and a new suitor (human smirk Cam Gigandet).

Equipped with our privileged glimpses of Rebecca self-piercing her ears and punching herself in the mirror à la Mark Wahlberg in Fear, we can anticipate each member of Sara's social circle, as they’re introduced, being punished in turn—and we will not leave disappointed.

The presence of Billy Zane, as Sara’s fashion-design teacher, gives final reassurance that we need not take anything seriously here.

 
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