June 2015
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Roommate Wanted Review

Roommate_Wanted_720p_028Roommate Wanted (aka 2 Br/1 Ba) was released in the USA on the 19th of May 2015 on DVD and VOD platforms.  At the time of posting I am not aware of the film being released anywhere else in the world.  As a UK resident I was able to acquire a copy of the US DVD via Amazon.

The plot of the movie revolves around the rapidly crumbling relationship between two young women that share the (previously) eponymous 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom house.  Resentments come to the surface and fists start flying.

Roommate_Wanted_720p_018Janie (Alexa Vega, Spy Kids) is the studious one.  She cares about political issues and the planet, and wants to attend a good college.  Money is a sticking point though as the scholarship she was relying on to cover her costs is no longer available due to budget cuts.

Roommate_Wanted_720p_141Dee (Spencer Grammer, Greek) is the polar opposite.  She is wealthy and spends her time at the gym and shopping.  The source of this fortune is not made clear, presumably rich parents.

Kathryn has a small role as a woman working for someone that can help Janie with her financial issues.

The film was written by Aaron Edward and directed by Rob Margolies (She Wants Me).

I will admit upfront to being sceptical about this film and was expecting to not enjoy it.  If Kathryn was not in it I would probably not be giving it a first glance, let alone a second.  But watch it I did.

My initial impressions, possibly coloured by that pre-judgement, backed-up those thoughts.  I felt that Alexa and Spencer were in the wrong roles and would have been better suited if they’d swapped places.  Alexa’s Janie looked too well dressed, glamorous even, to be a down-at-heel student struggling to get by.  The spectacles looked forced and brought to mind Penny in The Big Bang Theory and her “molecules” line.  Conversely Spencer’s Dee came across as the poorer of the two.  Presumably this was a sign of her not having to try so hard because she’s loaded.  And why does the rich girl need to take in a housemate?  Is it some sort of out-reach programme or community service? Anyway…

Faced with a lack of money Janie hatches (pun very much intended!) upon a plan to make some money.  At first Dee is happy to help but then as the animosity rises between them she takes matters into her own hands.

I have a long standing notion that good things happen in films around the 20 minute mark.  Check out Assassination Of A High School President, Cougars, Inc., and Minority Report for proof…

Roommate_Wanted_720p_005In, quite literally (used properly), steps Kathryn.

To make another reference to The Big Bang Theory, Kathryn was definitely channelling Leonard Hofstadter’s mother in her role as Olivia Morgan.  Her greeting of Janie at the house door with a puzzled look when a hand was proffered and the clipped speech had Dr Beverly Hofstadter (as played by the brilliant Christine Baranski) written all over it.  I can’t say it is an appealing character trait though, and it came across as a very forced piece of acting.  This continued throughout her time with Janie but changed significantly when it came to Dee.  Suddenly it was were like they were sorority sisters.  Then the befuddled Olivia briefly returned to be quickly replaced by a carefree one again.  All very odd.

Roommate_Wanted_720p_062I did warm to Olivia a little more as her 10 minutes of screen time came to a close but the film was only just getting going really even if I assumed my interested had passed.

The film, and the two lead characters, come alive in the last 45 minutes.  It almost becomes one long fight scene but it is punctuated by pauses as the girls briefly question what they are doing and what the other is saying.  They tear each apart emotionally as they try and do it physically.  Then the fuse re-ignites like one of those trick candles that you can’t blow out.

By this point which girl is which doesn’t really matter.  You would think that the set up is designed to put you very much on Janie’s side in all this.  She seems to be the nice one after all.  By the end you are changing allegiances as often as they switch weapons.  Dog lovers be warned though.  Early on you can see the twin plot devices of the cute little dog and the big scary snake will have to pay off at some point, and it can only go one way.  There are a few other obvious pointers to future destruction.

The ending is a bit shocking (pun intended).  As the final minutes approached I could not decide who I wanted to win this battle.  Surely someone has to come out on top.  But by this point you can’t decide which it should be.

Against my original reservations I stuck with the film and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it, even after Kathryn left, which is not always the case.  Comments I’ve seen by other reviewers echo my feelings that it is in the latter half of the film where it really picks up the baton and runs with it.

The film is R rated and with good reason. It is not extreme or explicit but it is not good clean fun with some hair pulling.

Roommate Wanted: Try it, you might like it.  Let us know with a comment below.

Remember to watch KM UK’s EXCLUSIVE video of Kathryn on the set of Roommate Wanted.  It was done especially for us.  The HD quality screencaps dotted around this piece, and many more, can also be found in the Gallery HERE.

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