Friday, October 7, 2011

This Review Contains Spoilers

But it doesn’t matter, because you should never watch this movie. I’ve never done a movie review before, mostly because they don’t fit the content of my office humor blog. But one of my favorite Sunday activities, in order to ward off thoughts of the impending work week, is watching a good Lifetime movie. So when one of them leaves me disappointed and shocked as to, not the poor quality (as that is expected), but the total dud of an ending, I feel compelled to spread the word.

As you may or may not know, Lifetime movies typically focus on the story of one unfortunate woman or another - maybe she’s anorexic, or wrongly accused of murder, or being beat senseless by John Schneider for purchasing the wrong kind of potato salad (“You know I hate German!!”). The best ones were made in the early 1990’s, and the worst ones were made in 2009 and beyond. Recently, the quality of the acting and the look of the movies in general have come to resemble soft core porn. I have a theory that the “full” versions of these movies actually do exist on Cinemax, with Lifetime purchasing them for twelve bucks, editing out the sex, and airing them as “television for women.” It could happen.

Anyhow, you can imagine my delight when I plopped down in front of the t.v. and saw that The Perfect Roommate (2011) was on Lifetime On Demand. With a description like this, it felt like Christmas:
“Carrie Remington seems like any other struggling waitress who's had a run of bad luck including a recent divorce. Things seem to be improving when she moves in with Ashley Dunnfield, a young woman from a wealthy background who's trying to make it on her own without assistance from her father, Richard. Ashley is thrilled when Carrie helps to win her father over, but when Carrie starts dating Richard, Ashley starts digging into her past and finds out that there is much she didn't know about her new roommate's sinister history.”
The movie was doomed from the very beginning by the casting of main character Carrie. There was something disturbing about her, and I’m not talking about her ‘sinister history.’ I’m talking about her bowl cut. I’m talking about the fact that she looks like a nightmare version of Katie Holmes. I’m talking about the fact that this so-called seductress appeared to be hiding a nine months pregnant body under strange, billowy, outfits. All of that combined made it laughable when Ashley’s 22 year old boyfriend describes her as being “hot.” Yeah, maybe if you find the love child of Paul McCartney and a Twiddlebug to be up your alley.



So, Carrie moves in with Ashley after telling her that the friend she’s been living with has died, and that she has no place to live. Ashley, meanwhile, is dealing with her own drama involving her mega-rich dad, Richard (hereafter referred to as “Mega Dick”) and his inability to let her live her own life. Ashley’s dad is played by William R. Moses, who my husband I lovingly refer to as “that guy who will do anything.” He’s been in countless Lifetime movies, usually playing a bland husband, bland dad, or bland sex addicted proctologist. Even if he’s not playing a main character, it’s a safe bet that you’ll spot him driving through the background in a mail truck. We figure his career goes something like this:
Lifetime Exec:  Mr. Moses? We have an idea for a movie...
WRM:  I’ll do it.
Lifetime Exc:  Don’t you even want to know what it’s abou-
WRM:  Sign me up.
Lifetime Exec:  But sir, you’ll be playing a cross-dressing - 
WRM:  When do I start?
Hey, the guy’s gotta eat. And usually when you see his name in the cast list you can expect a pretty formulaic Lifetime movie. You know: 1 crazy woman + 1 normal woman + 1 clueless guy being controlled by his penis. Crazy woman’s craziness is discovered by normal woman, but not before crazy woman drugs and ties up clueless guy in a cabin in the woods. Normal woman shows up to confront crazy woman and there is a shoot-out/slugging with sledgehammer from the garage scene in which crazy woman dies and then comes back to life before being taken down once and for all by a police officer who finally believes normal woman’s story (“Look lady, go home and let us do our jobs”). Clueless guy can either live or die, he doesn’t matter in the least. 

You know you're in for a treat

The Perfect Roommate had the perfect set up. It had this exact formula laid out and ready to roll.  Ashley’s boyfriend’s brother is even a police officer. He was shot in the line of duty and is now confined to a wheelchair. He’s depressed and has low self esteem. “Perfect!” you think. “This guy is clearly going to figure out Carrie’s dark past. He’s going to arrive at the cabin in the woods, and out of sheer determination to save Ashley from harm, will rise from his wheelchair, shoot Carrie, and once again be a hero.” You know what happens instead? He makes a phone call to another police officer and asks him to do a background check. Then he relays some suspicious information about Carrie to Ashley and her boyfriend. THAT’S IT. You never see the guy for the rest of the movie!! Instead of giving the poor sap a medal of honor, the writers just leave him in a wheelchair in his apartment with the curtains drawn, probably watching shit like this on t.v.

So after a few weeks of boring ass dates where Carrie drinks a lot of wine and tricks Mega Dick into thinking they have loads in common, the repulsive lovebirds take off on a romantic hotel getaway. While they’re on this getaway, Ashley finds out that Carrie is actually a psycho and is behind the murder of Mega Dick’s ex-girlfriend. “Perfect!” you think again, sadly still mustering some shards of hope. “Now comes the part where Mega Dick gets tied up and the hotel gets set on fire and Ashley gets stabbed!”

You know what actually happens? Carrie intercepts a voicemail Ashley has left for Mega Dick asking him to come get her at a gas station where her car has broken down.  Carrie leaves Mega Dick sleeping peacefully in the hotel (he’s not even drugged for Christ Sake. NOT EVEN DRUGGED) and drives to the gas station where they finally have a confrontation. Ashley reveals that she knows who Carrie really is! Carrie snaps! She picks up a broken bottle and chases Ashley around the parking lot! Only...she chases her for one lap. One lap. Then this cop pulls up and Ashley tells him that Carrie is trying to kill her. Carrie sashays her twiddlebug hips over and says all innocent-like “She’s lying!” And instead of the cop doubting for even a second that Ashley is telling the truth (and in a normal Lifetime movie, allowing Carrie the chance to smash him in the face with the bottle), he simply tells Carrie that she has to come with him. AND THAT’S THE END OF THE MOVIE!!!! That is the atrocious, anti-climactic, more disappointing than the ends of Twilight, LOST, and Seinfeld combined, end of the fucking movie.

Except for the very last scene where Mega Dick is having a boring dinner with his daughter and son-in-law-to be, which then cuts to Carrie sitting in jail with a magazine, eyeing the picture of another rich dude who she’s supposedly going to target next. What? How? You’re in prison for murder for the rest of your fucking life.

In short, do not waste your time on this movie. With 5,764 other William R. Moses Lifetime movies to choose from, you’re bound to find something better.