Bart Got A Room

"Excellent"

Bart Got A Room Review


High school coming-of-age films have recently been overflowing movie screens like stuffed toilets. They can be hard-edged and true like Adventureland. Or raunchy yet soft and fuzzy like Superbad. Or they can be totally wacky, as is the case with Brian Hecker's Bart Got a Room.

Hecker's rite-of-passage romp, about a high school senior and resident twerp who strings out getting a prom date until the last second, takes place in an over-baked retirement community in Florida where the youngsters look like sprites among the old-folks majority. Hecker's take on the plastic, ready-to-go community is a nutty cartoonish style, taking its influence from Frank Tashlin -- a place of consumer detritus baking, along with the residents, in the bright light of the leisure world.

Danny Stein (Steven Kaplan) is the kind of over-achieving, personable high school dweeb that girls prefer only as a good friend. Danny wants more than that but not much more -- he just wants to take a girl to the prom. The film plays out as a series of increasingly absurd blackout sketches as Danny asks a battery of unavailable girls to go with him but keeps getting summarily rejected, becoming along the way increasingly desperate and frazzled. And yet with all the commotion, Danny doesn't see the prize in front of him -- his long time friend Camille (Alia Shawkat). She wants Danny to ask her but Danny is too lunkheaded to do so.

But Danny isn't the only child with dating problems. His separated parents Beth and Ernie (Cheryl Hines and William H. Macy -- Macy donning a hilarious red 'fro) are also seeking companionship and having a rough time of it. Ernie has it the worst. He asks Danny's advice on the middle-aged women he is dating (trying to solicit Danny's opinion about a prospect's posterior charms, he tells Danny, "You should know. You're an ass man!") and engages in chat room sex (he's a fast typist). But both are concerned with Danny and his problems in getting a prom date -- Macy even breaks his own date without batting an eye to help Danny out.

In his treatment of Beth and Ernie, Hecker displays the charm of the movie. There are no bad or mean people in Bart Got a Room. The characters are all likable and sympathetic (Dinah Manoff is particularly engaging as Mrs. Goodman, Camille's mom).

Hecker sets the film in a nightmare landscape of a bright, golden-sunned retirement community with retirees positioned as bric-a-brac in the compositions. Old folks are seen taking up the seats in restaurants as they hit the early bird specials, spitting past in the background on their golf carts, and even being removed from their retirement homes in body bags. Real flamingoes populate the roadside and plastic flamingoes grace the lawns.

Hecker creates the impossible, out of environs of pure cheese, and has created a comedy of warmth and joy. When Danny dances at a Bar Mitzvah with his parents and Camille, you want to enter the screen and join them.

Another Shirley Temple, my good man.



Bart Got A Room

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th April 2008

Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Brian Hecker

Producer: , Daniela Taplin Lundberg, , Jai Stefan, Tony Shawkat

Starring: as Danny, William H. Macy as Ernie Stein, as Beth Stein, as Camille, as Alice, as Craig, as Abby, as Bob, as Melinda, as Mrs. Goodson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.