tek's rating:

Bart Got a Room (PG-13)
Anchor Bay; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; Wikipedia

I basically wanted to see this because one of its stars is Alia Shawkat. As an unexpected bonus, her character's parents in this movie were played by Dinah Manoff and Michael Mantell, who previously played her parents in State of Grace (though I should point out this movie has no relation to that show). Anyway, Shawkat's character isn't the main one in the movie.

The main character is a boy named Danny, who is trying to find a date for his senior prom. The movie starts two months prior to prom. He's thinking of asking a sophomore cheerleader named Alice (Ashley Benson), to whom he gives rides to and from school. Um... and I should mention that Danny's parents are divorced. His mom (Cheryl Hines) is dating a guy named Bob, while his dad (William H. Macy) goes through a string of dates with different women. He tries to advise Danny about girls, as well as seeking Danny's advice about women. He is quite possibly the most embarrassing father I can recall ever seeing in any movie or TV show (though in the end, he turns out to be... man, I just gotta call it a weird mix of best dad ever and worst dad ever... but mostly best? I guess?) But anyway, he tells Danny that Alice was giving him (Danny) signals that she was interested in him. As a viewer, I must say that the way she behaved toward Danny both when in the presence of his father and when she and Danny were alone, there are two possible interpretations: either she was, in fact, interested in him, or else she saw him as a brother figure bordering on GBF. I really didn't know which to guess was what she was actually thinking. But um... at any rate, it's impossible not to get Danny's interest in her.

But before Danny could ask Alice to the prom, Danny's best friend, Camille (Shawkat), asked him. He told her he was only thinking of asking Alice. Yet when he finally did... Alice's reaction was... a strange mix of an attitude that made her sound like a bitch, but delivered in a rather sweet tone. Either way... I felt like her reaction was unfair. (Not to say she didn't have every right to turn him down, but she didn't have to talk like he was a horrible person just for asking.) Anyway, after that, Danny still could have gotten Camille as a date, but he still didn't want to. And I don't really understand it. But I suppose if he'd done the sensible thing, there would've been nowhere for the movie to go from there. So, he continues trying to find someone else. And there were a few options, but of course none of them panned out, and meanwhile the movie just keeps counting down to the night of the prom...

I don't want to give away any more of the plot, but there's a certain predictability to how it turns out in the end. There's also a lot of weirdness, quirkiness, humor, sweetness, craziness, and OMG-that's-just-so-wrong-ness. I couldn't begin to describe it if I tried. But, um, yeah... it was funny, and... oh, I should explain the title. Throughout the movie, we sometimes see Danny talking to his friend Craig, who advised him about finding a date. And I think they were planning on renting a limo together to go with their dates. Craig's date was supposed to be his girlfriend Abby (Kate Micucci), but... well, I won't get into that. Spoilers. Anyway, one of the things Craig told Danny was that he had to get a room at the hotel where the prom was, I guess. Because everyone was getting rooms for after the prom. He said Bart got a room, which is what made Danny realize he had to. Because clearly, if Bart could get a room, anyone could. And throughout the movie, it becomes a running gag. Danny could just say to anyone, like his mom and dad (separately), "Bart got a room." Anyone he said that to instantly understood, and was willing to help Danny. Which of course made me desperately anxious to see this Bart guy... and we finally do, in one brief scene at the prom. Which was fun. Not like over-the-top or anything. I mean... I can see people finding it unlikely that he'd have a date for prom, but he wasn't freakin' Quasimodo or anything. And he had a funny line.

Anyway... I guess that's all I can say. A weird and funny and wrong movie with a predictable but sweet ending which is about as quirky as the rest of the film was.


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