22 December 2005 | Nodriesrespect
Roommates by any other name
Belgian-born director Ted Roter, resorting to his customary "Pierre Balakoff" persona (for the more detailed itinerary of this decidedly oddball filmmaker, please read my comment on his PAUL, LISA AND CAROLINE), ripped off Chuck Vincent's hugely popular cross-over hit ROOMMATES wholesale with this lazy latter-day effort. To the best of my knowledge, he only followed with the marginally more energetic SCANDALOUS SIMONE with Kim Carson essaying the title role. He even borrowed Vincent's award-winning actress Veronica Hart (a/k/a director/producer Jane Hamilton) for one of the leads. None too surprisingly, she turns in the top thespian performance as insecure struggling actress Alicia, although she's a tad mature for the part) in what was to be her last explicit endeavor before retiring to directorial duties and non-sex walk-ons.
As in the Vincent original, we follow three wannabe career women (in this case Hollywood hopefuls) sharing a flat to beat the high cost of living in the big bustling city. There's the hick chick from the sticks (Tigr a/k/a "Chelsea Manchester" who proved much better in Anthony Spinelli's NOTHING TO HIDE) and the unscrupulous lass who'll do all it takes to get to the top (Roter regular Gena Lee, at least a full decade too old for the part). The plot never rises above a tired rehash with dire dialog, inconsistent acting (Tigr, in particular, veers from excellent to execrable from scene to scene, presumably the by-product of distressingly weak direction) and - worst of all - lackluster sex scenes that seem thrown in almost as an afterthought. It's a porn film, Ted, so get your priorities straight already !
While hardly ever a major league contender, Roter still managed to score with several past efforts such as THE MASTER AND MS. JOHNSON, A LITTLE MORE THAN LOVE and RING OF DESIRE but this is something of an embarrassment despite solid production values and an eye-catching star-studded cast, further including the likes of John Leslie, Eric Edwards and Ron Jeremy, most of whom seem complacent to rehash the defining characteristics that made them household names in the first place.