Bart Got a Room

Posted April 2, 2009 in Film

Bart has a hotel room for prom. And though we don’t see the über-nerd’s face until the last minutes of Brian Hecker’s squirm-worthy comedy, it’s clear a geek gauntlet has been thrown down and Danny (Steven Kaplan) is, like, totally going to hate his life if he doesn’t get a room, a limo, and a sexyfuntime night to remember with the hottest girl he can swing—i.e., anyone but best friend Camille (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat). Hecker’s got a knack for teen misery, but he’s aiming higher than beers-and-boobs moronity. He wields the camera like David LaChapelle, shooting in sharp color at dramatic angles, and soaking in the weirdness of the film’s Florida setting with its clusters of tiny Jewish grandmothers and lovelorn divorcees. William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines play Danny’s separated parents, and their desperate efforts to hook up with somebody—anybody—with a hot body or stocked savings account taint their son’s efforts to get a date he can nail, damn the consequences. What follows is excruciating, the kind of excavated high school trauma that has you hiding your face in empathetic shame (not, thankfully, because of vomit jokes—though there is one tucked into the credits). (Amy Nicholson)


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