Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Film's Flatmates from Hell

With horror thriller The Roommate out now on Blu-ray and DVD, we look at why you wouldn’t to share a flat with its leading lady plus nine other people you’d evict as soon as you possibly could...

Single White Female (see below) for the Gossip Girl generation, The Roommate stars that show’s Leighton Meester as college girl Rebecca, who terrorises dorm-mate Sara (Minka Kelly) – pretending to be her, seducing her mates or beating them up (got a belly ring? Becky will rip that out for ya), and having phone sex with Sara’s ex. It all leads to a violent showdown that could probably have been avoided if only Rebecca had taken her bipolar medication.
Any of the three Edinburgh flatmates in Danny Boyle’s blacker-than-black comedy debut could qualify as Person You’d Least Like To Live With. Collectively they’re a supercilious trio, sneering at wannabe additions to the household before letting Keith Allen have the spare room, while Ewan McGregor’s Alex is a cocky little sod and Kerry Fox’s Juliet is hard as nails. But it’s Christopher Eccleston’s David who takes the biscuit, going totally batty when the new lodger is found dead with a suitcase full of money in his room, hoarding the cash in the attic and going after the others with a knife when they try to flee with the wonga.
The mother of all flatmates-from-hell sagas, this nerve-shredding thriller stars Bridget Fonda as fashion designer Allie, who boots out her cheating boyfriend and takes in Hedy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) – who seems like a wallflower until she goes ape, aping Allie’s style, stealing her identity, murdering Allie’s ex with her shoe, and eventually holding her hostage at gunpoint. If ever there was an advert for only having a cat for company this is it.

In this year’s biggest side-splitter failed bakery-owner turned bitter jewellery store employee Annie (Kristen Wiig) gets two rotten roommates for the price of one in Gil (Matt Lucas) and his sister Brynn (Rebel Wilson) – literally, since only Gil is paying his share of the rent. The tubby (we’re being kind here) twosome ransack Annie’s room, reading her diary and trying on her clothes, which makes the trials and tribulations of being a maid of honour, keeping the bride’s new best mate in her place and surviving Mexican food poisoning seem like a doddle.
The only X-rated film to ever win the best film Oscar, Midnight Cowboy stars Jon Voight as smalltown boy Joe Buck hustling his way around Manhattan and Dustin Hoffman as crippled conman Enrico ‘Ratso’ Rizzo, who is railroaded into letting Joe crash in his pad. Bette Davis’s legendary “What a dump!” putdown would have served the brilliant script well, since the pad in question is a roach-infested hellhole that puts one in mind of legendary London landlord Peter Rachman’s portfolio in the 50s and 60s and Rizzo is a hellish flatmate – refusing to wash up or furnish the place and coughing his guts up all night long.
Some critics reckon Walter Matthau’s slobby Oscar Madison would be a pain to live with, but it’s Jack Lemon’s Felix Ungar – who moves into Oscar’s bachelor pad after his wife jilts him – who turns out to be the real nightmare. OCD in his spick-and-span-ness, he goes all Howard Hughes in a quest for order and cleanliness, driving Oscar batty in the process. Great lines like “It took me three hours to figure out FU meant Felix Ungar” abound in this Neil Simon-scripted comedy that concludes rent in New York may be horribly high but you can’t put a price on having your own space.

A brilliant fly-on-the-wall horror film in which poor Katie and Micah don’t want a third wheel in their suburban home but get one anyway in the unseen abomination that has been after Katie’s soul since childhood. And talk about bad company! He/she/it is noisy and violent and whenever the object of his obsession tries to get a good night’s sleep he throws tantrums in the hallway and drags her kicking and screaming out of bed.
Who wouldn’t want Brad Pitt lolling around on their couch? Er, you might think twice if it’s Brad as Floyd, the shiftless sofa-dwelling slacker who thinks bong hits are the height of quality time at home, leaves salty-snack crumbs everywhere and couldn’t find the cleaning products even if you shoved them down the scruffy pyjama bottoms he uses for leisurewear. Oh, and if you’re on the run from the heavies and they pop round your apartment Floyd will tell them exactly where you’re hiding.
You have to wonder what urbane bookseller Will (Hugh Grant) is doing sharing his Portobello Road pad with Welsh layabout Spike (Rhys Ifans). His underwear looks like it hasn’t seen a laundry since, well, ever, his hair is a stranger to Head And Shoulders and he’d clearly benefit from a scrub-down in the Silkwood showers. If Spike had been the lead rather than Will then Julia Roberts would have been forced to amend her famous line to “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy who needs a wash”.

Pretentious out-of-work actors aren’t great company at the best of the times, and when they come in the sloppy shape of Withnail (Richard E. Grant) they’re unbearable. Wittering on about ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ whilst smothering himself in Deep Heat to keep warm, he drives I (Paul McGann) to despair in their hideous Camden Town flat, then drives him to a country cottage for an encounter with lecherous Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) and pimps him out to the old perv in return for a roof over their heads.

She's cute. She's loyal. She's psychotic. And, unfortunately for college freshman Sara (Minka Kelly) she's The Roommate. When Sara arrives at school, she finds new romance with Stephen (Cam Gigandet) and forms a fast friendship with her roommate Rebecca (Leighton Meester). What begins as camaraderie soon turns creepy, and Sara comes face-to-face with the terrifying realization that her new best friend is obsessive, unbalanced... and maybe even a killer!

Thanks to our friends at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment UK, we've got two copies of The Roommate to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Wednesday 21st September, making sure to put "The Roommate" as the subject. The first two entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a copy of this awesome movie!

Don't forget to put "The Roommate" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

The Roommate is available now, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment UK.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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