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Room for Rent

  • Room for Rent
    When a reclusive man-child convinces his parents to rent their spare room to save from downsizing, a stranger with a hidden agenda moves in.

Critique de Nikayaya

  • A lotto ticket, a series of unfortunate decisions, and a room for rent all add up to a dark comedy that almost lives up to its full potential.

    Room For Rent tells the tale of Mitch Baldwin (Mark Little), a man struggling on the cusp of mature independence. Having lost a 3.5 million dollar lotto win, Mitch entombs himself in his parents home, blissfully unaware of the burden he places on his parents.

    When his father informs the family he has been forcefully retired, thus causing them to sell the home, Mitch concocts a selfish plan in hopes of avoiding growing up. As a mysterious man appears on the Baldwin’s doorstep, his presence punctuated with ominous music, the audience understands that it may be time for Mitch’s karma to be up at bat. Carl Lemay (Brett Gelman) presents charming and responsible, all the opposing characteristics of Mitch, even as he mirrors him in a single white female sort of way. While Gelman instructs the audience on his intentions simply with a look, his character’s charm starts to wear off too soon, making you wonder why alarms don’t go off sooner for those around him.

    Mark Little embodies the irrelevant existence of Mitch, down to the lack of selfawareness apparent on his face whenever someone brings up responsibility. A character more socially pronounced in recent years, Mitch checks every description of a dependent adult child, making him both a comedic and sad movie presence. It’s hard to gather empathy for Mitch’s financial loss watching him push his plate across the table to his already overworked mother, addressing her as one would a servant.

    While the film wins in intrigue, followed closely by humor, it begins to run off course as it progresses. Once it becomes apparent that Carl is more creepy than charming, the story begins to soften its stance on Mitch, belaying the intended Karma in almost a frustrating turn. All the dark imaging shots, compounded with a sinister soundtrack build to a better ending than what we are left with. With a storyline strong in character development, it’s almost a let down to witness the awkward climax.

    Room For Rent is one of my favorite types of films, dark comedy – an attempt to make light of the worst of human situations. Much Like Mitch’s windfall, Room For Rent spends all its great scenes in the beginning, but unfortunately, it ends up poor.

    Room for rent
    Director: Matt Atkinson
    Producers: Justin Rebelo, Kyle Bornais
    Cast: Brett Gelman (Lemon), Mark Little (Roller Town), Carla Gallo (Neighbors), Stephnie Weir (The Comedians), Patrick J. Adams (Suits), & Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall)

    Screened at the San Diego Film Festival, October 6 2017, ArcLight Cinemas

  • 3.5