Much ado about next to nothing - mild spoilers ....
- The Lodger review by NP
Here's something I was not expecting to like. Two attractive young women sharing accommodation: one, studious and ambitious and the other, superficial and gorgeous. To begin with, I was hard-pressed to tell much difference between them. Both are casually stunning and appear very happy in their individual skins; and that is why I wasn't sure I would see this film through - I dislike such blemish-free catwalk characters being passed off as 'everyday'. It's a stereotype. It fuels people's paranoia about themselves. It presents a false image, and it annoys me.
Secondly, 'The Lodger/Roommate Wanted' is sold as a horror thriller. For a long time, I was waiting for anything horrific to show itself. By the end, I still think - despite some violence - I was somewhat mis-sold.
With all that out of the way, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The two girls are exceptionally well-played and occasionally, it really seems as if the veneer exhibited by both of them (in their own ways) is about to be cracked - but it never really happens. The violence, nasty though some of it is, is cartoon-like. Any scars or blemishes dished out soon disappear. Even toward the end, after everything is superficially - that word again - trashed, they still speak to each other in cliché (early on, Janie professes to 'like' clichés), their stoically cutesy personality traits very much intact.
I would have liked to see the comedy antics - some of which are genuinely quite funny - gradually dissipate as their fight went on. I would have liked to see the violence - both physical and mental - go further, instead of just being sporadically addressed before the two of them call another short-lived truce. Even the ending lurches back into caricature humour, which undoes much of the good work that had been done stripping them of their bravado. Perhaps Director Rob Margolies and writer Aaron Edward just weren't interested in making that kind of film. A shame, because if events had become more serious and more extreme, this could have been a really interesting project. My score is 5 out of 10.
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