THE ROOMMATE (2011)
Starring Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, Aly Michalka, Danneel Harris, Frances Fisher, Tomas Arana, Billy Zane, Nina Dobrev, Matt Lanter, Cherilyn Wilson and Katerina Graham.
Screenplay by Sonny Mallhi.
Directed by Christian E. Christiansen.
Distributed by Screen Gems. 93 minutes. Rated PG-13.
Sometimes it is amusing to imagine how movies actually get green-lit – what reasoning went into creating a film. However, sometimes you can almost picture the pitch meeting. For example, I have a weird feeling that the genesis of The Roommate went something like this:
Exec #1: You know what movie was pretty good? Do you remember Single White Female?
Exec #2: Sure, but it’s so old. It’s like, what, almost twenty years ago?
Exec #1: Yeah, true. It may as well be a silent.
Exec #2: You know what would make itperfect, though?
Exec #1: What?
Exec #2: Younger, hotter chicks as the stars.
Exec #1: True. Even back then Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh were probably in their thirties.
Exec #2: Tell me about it! And what was with Bridget’s pixie bob haircut?
Exec #1: Yeah, that was so 90s.
Exec #2: It was ugly even in the 90s.We should totally remake the movie.
Exec #1: But with younger, hotter stars?
Exec #2: That goes without saying.
Exec #1: Are the rights available?
Exec #2: Who cares? We’ll change the character names and massage the basic story line a little and call it an original.
Exec #1: We’ll put them in college!
Exec #2: Brilliant! Then we’ll have an excuse to have lots of hot co-eds, frat parties and girls’ dorms.
Exec #1: We should get that Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl. She’s hot.
Exec #2: And Minka Kelly from Friday Night Lights. She’s smoking, too.
Exec #1: She sure is.
Exec #2: And as supporting roles how about thatformer popstar from Aly & AJand a cameo by the girl from The Vampire Diaries.
Exec #1: Can any of them act?
Exec #2: Does it really matter?
Exec #1: Well, a bit. I mean I know we aren’t making The King’s Speech here, but they should be able to put together a complete coherent sentence.
Exec #2: We’ll test them, but I’m sure they’ll be fine. After all, they’ve done enough TV over the years.
Exec #1: But I don’t know. The movie was kind of explicit. And if we want to get any kind of crowds who don’t know about the original, we’re probably going to have to make it PG-13. How much of a psychopathic and frequently naked murderer can we have in a PG-13 film?
Exec #2: Okay, how about if she’s obviously crazy but rarely actually pulls the trigger? She can often seem like she is going to kill and then not do so. Except for one guy. And maybe a kitten.
Exec #1: No, you can’t kill a kitten. I may be a Hollywood exec, but I have some scruples. The audience will revolt. They don’t mind if you kill teenagers, but they won’t stand still for the murder of a fluffy pet.
Exec #2: But that’s what’s great. It’ll show she’s insane. And don’t worry, it’ll be done discreetly off camera, of course. We just show her putting little Miss Kitty in a precarious position – and then cut away to the news that the cat is gone.
Exec #1: Well, I suppose that could work. But what about the most famous and disturbing scenes in Single White Female – the scene where the roommate masturbates and the scene where she dresses up like the heroine to have sex with and then kill her lover? Those were kind of explicit for a PG-13 movie.
Exec #2: We’ll still do them. We’ll just cut it a lot tighter and not actually show any skin. People will know what is happening without actually seeing the good parts.
Exec #1: I don’t know, what’s the point in having the hot young chicks if we can’t have a bit of gratuitous nudity?
Exec #2: It’ll all be a tease. The teen boys will line up to see them naked, but it won’t actually happen. We can also do a couple of teasing shots of the former pop star in which she is flashing a crowd and taking a shower – and then shoot them from the behind or point the camera at her belly or her feet.
Exec #1: I don’t know, that seems like a bit of a bait and switch.
Exec #2: Of course, it is. The whole movie is. If the audiences wanted to see this movie with the story told more intelligently and with the violence and sex more graphically shown, they would just be renting Single White Female.
Exec #1: Well, don’t tell them that.
Exec #2: It’ll be our little secret.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 10, 2011.