11 February 2011

The Roommate/The Rite/No Strings Attached/The Green Hornet

Natalie Portman, left, and Ashton Kutcher are shown in a scene from "No Strings Attached."
January and February of this year are living up to their hard-won reputation as a cinematic wasteland. With Oscar bait still going strong in theaters and bad weather frequently keeping many moviegoers at home, the studios use these two months almost exclusively to unload pictures they know will have little to no chance of succeeding at any other time of year.

That's how we get drivel like "The Roommate" finishing atop the box office over its opening weekend.

Directed by Christian E. Christiansen without a hint of subtlety or any mind toward building suspense, "The Roommate" features Leighton Meester (of TV's "Gossip Girl") as Rebecca, an off-her-meds college freshman who obsesses, "Single White Female"-style, over her new roommate, Sara (Minka Kelly of TV's "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood"). Don't waste your time about what has made Rebecca this way; no one who made the movie gave it a second thought either.