I felt bad comparing a movie made for TV to the standard set by Hollywood, so I tried to approach The Perfect Roommate with a more realistic set of expectations. Unfortunately, even with lower standards, the problems in The Perfect Roommate are very hard to overlook.
The Perfect Roommate follows two main characters: Carrie Remington, a woman in her 30′s who’s aiming to strike it rich by landing a wealthy husband, and Ashley Dunfield, a woman in her 20′s who seeks independence from her wealthy and controlling father. Carrie, whose husband was arrested on murder charges, finds herself working at a restaurant to try and make ends meet. It’s here that she befriends Ashley, whose father could be just the man that she’s looking for. She sets her sights on him, and won’t let anything get in her way.
I went into this movie with a different set of expectations, and I must admit I was quite surprised. Many of the actors, particularly Ashley Leggat as Ashley Dunfield, and William Moses as Richard Dunfield, pulled off surprisingly good performances. There’s a particular scene in the movie where father and daughter are fighting and I found myself caught up in the tension of the scene.
Unfortunately I cannot say the same for Boti Bliss, who plays Carrie Remington. She seems to have been horribly miscast in this role. She is able to pull off the “nice and sweet” part of her character, but when it comes to showing her “darker” side, her performance falls completely flat. Much the same could be said of her delivery of her flirtier lines, which are performed without any kind of passion and end up sounding terrible. It doesn’t help that there’s absolutely no chemistry between Boti and William, and this shows very clearly in their characters on screen.
The story was average and predictable, but far from terrible, at least not until the end. This left a bitter taste in my mouth, as up until this point the movie had actually been building up to its finale quite well. Following this disappointment, the film then proceeds to tie up every single loose end, including all of Carrie’s past crimes and all of Ashley’s family problems, quite miraculously in the last eight minutes of the movie.
The Bottom Line
The Perfect Roommate is a low budget thriller, aimed at TV audiences and bargain bins in DVD stores. What could have actually been a decent thriller is let down by a poor performance by the main villain, and a completely anticlimactic ending. Better casting and a solid (even if it was predictable) ending could have elevated this movie beyond its low budget limitations and into respectable movie territory.
About the writer
Rowan Govender, a writer and artist who is more commonly known by his pen name Rowango, graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with an Honors degree in Media in 2006. He relocated to Cape Town in 2007 to pursue his interest in writing and film. He is currently employed part time in the Technical Writing industry, while he pursues personal creative projects.