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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: The Roommate (2011)

Film Review: The Roommate (2011)

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Sara Matthews is currently going through what many eighteen and nineteen year olds go through, her first year of college. Sara is away from everything she knows when she leaves Des Moines, Iowa to go to the University of Los Angeles. Sara has more than just the freshmen fifteen to worry about however when she discovers that her roommate Rebecca might be quite a handful.


“You’re in college now; a girl’s got to move on!”

Directed by: Christian E. Christiansen
Starring: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigander and Billy Zane

Christian E. Christiansen brings once again into the world the age old tale of an intruder moving into someone’s life and attempting to make it their own. The story of course isn’t that new but Christiansen brings hot actresses, trendy music and fashion and some pretty violent segments to make the story somewhat refreshing.


The Roommate focuses on a young lady named Sara Matthews who is starting fashion design classes at the University of Los Angeles. Sara is played by Minka Kelly who is one of the most beautiful actresses I have seen in some time, she literally lights up every scene that she is in. When Sara arrives in her dorm room she finds that her roommate has yet to arrive, but it doesn’t take her long to make friends with other girls in the dormitory. One of the girls Sara meets is a wild child by the name of Tracy who talks Sara into going with her to a fraternity party. While at the party Sara meets her love interest Stephen, who plays drums for the band who is entertaining the party, and Tracy is revealed to be quite the wild child as she attempts to perform a strip tease on the stair case to the cheers of the many fraternity members present. Sara rescues Tracy and goes back to her dorm room where she finds that her room mate Rebecca has moved in.


As with all films in this genre at first Rebecca seems like a nice person, she is an artist and comes from a pretty well off family, and unlike Sara she is from the area. Rebecca genuinely comes off as a nice and sincere person, but all of us who have seen these types of films know exactly what will eventually happen.

Sara spends the first part of the film doing what most new college students do; she attempts to get into the class of her choice, the professor played by Billy Zane who definitely gets the creeper of the year award for his portrayal of a cheating fashion design professor. Sara also soon finds herself a job at a local coffee shop, which leads to some pretty funny moments particularly since she really has no idea how to use any of the equipment in front of her.



Christiansen has a lot of fun with current trends not just with music and fashion but Sara points out to Rebecca that her best friend, a woman named Irene is very successful in the design industry and Sara and Irene are able to talk through a social networking website very similar to MySpace or Face book. Scenes like this make The Roommate a little more hip than some of the aged versions of this story.

Eventually it does happen where Rebecca starts to take interest in a lot of Sara’s interests, she even attempts to become part of Sara’s past in a truly spine shivering segment. At first Rebecca’s outbursts of violence actually do seem to benefit Sara. Gore hounds will not be happy with this one since the red stuff really doesn’t appear on screen until near the end of the film; instead Christiansen relies on the viewer and their own imagination to show violence. Scenes of violence are not limited to a young woman getting her naval ring ripped out, a small kitten being cooked alive inside of a dryer, and several scenes of slashing and cutting.

Christiansen has also filled the film with scenes of tension using some good camera work and sound track cues. The Roommate isn’t all tension however as Christiansen has also sprinkled the film with segments of humor, for instance when Sara first decides to go back to Stephen’s place (he lives in the fraternity house). Stephen asks Sara to stay outside of his room while he cleans up and Sara teases and taunts from outside the door in a scene that got more than a few laughs out of me as I remembered that time in my life.


The Roommate is a hipper version of the same old story we have all seen (Single White Female, The Crush….I could keep naming off movies of this genre but I believe you get my point) and I was surprised to actually find myself quite entertained by the film. It isn’t balls out gore nor is it so terrifying that the girls would want to cover their eyes, it’s the right mix for a good thriller and it might just make some new college students rethink moving into the college dormitory’s…..it is worth the view.

The Roommate (2011)

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