Review: “Bart Got A Room”

September 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Quirky indie comedies seem to be a dime-a-dozen these days, and with many dealing with teen pregnancy, disintegration of  relationships, and other ‘adult’ themes, it’s a bit refreshing when one goes back to the tried-and-true plot of “Who am I taking to the prom?”  Bart Got A Room attempts to make its mark in the indie comedy scene with this tactic.

The movie’s simple plot, however, is the weakest point.  It’s a little too simple.  In fact, there’s no mystery to it at all; you’ll be able to guess who Danny (Steven Kaplan) will take to the prom within the first few minutes.  What the movie does have going for it is a very likable, and my case, relatable protagonist.  Throughout the movie, Danny weighs his options of dates to the most important night in his high school career.  However, each one turns out to be wrong for him for different reasons (one doesn’t want to go with him, another has too many rules, yet another “doesn’t do prom”, etc.), and he ends up realizing who this perfect date is in the end.

There’s also this subplot of his parents going through a divorce, and each of them experience relationship problems of their own.  But this sidestory just seems to inflate a movie that was missing a lot of ‘meat’.  Bart Got A Room runs at around 80 minutes, and that’s about 40 minutes too long.  Writer/director Brian Hecker could’ve cut the parents’ storylines and streamlined the movie, which would’ve made for a pretty funny short film, but instead he tries to make a feature that doesn’t reach far enough.

And the ending, aside from being predictable, also seemed kind of lazy, complete with a voice-over narration by Danny where he tells the audience exactly what he’s learned from this experience.  It’s like something from Full House, where Danny Tanner sits down with his girls and lays out exactly what they did wrong and the positive things they can take away from this experience.

Still, Bart Got A Room does have its charm.  The cast is solid throughout, except for some minor characters that play Danny’s friends, in where I don’t think they’re given enough to do.  Danny’s dad, Ernie (William H. Macy) sports a curly hairdo that’s both hilarious and embarrassing at the same time.  I couldn’t help but think this was probably a good stay-at-home date movie: good for one viewing, but it won’t shake up the indie scene unlike something like Juno or this summer’s (500) Days of Summer.

6.5/10

(images from Yahoo!)

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