Directed By Brian Hecker
Starring William H. Macy, Cheryl Hines, Steven Kaplan, Alia Shawkat
The teen comedy is a tricky genre. Too many times these movies take the approach of over the top gross out humor (the American Pie franchise) or simply go for saccharine sweet sentimentality (She’s All That, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist). Then there are movies like Bart Got A Room….
The prom is coming and Danny Stein (Steven Kaplan) doesn’t have a date. He has made a list of girls to ask including his best friend Camille (Alia Shawkat). But with every girl there seems to be an obstacle standing in his way. As prom gets closer and Danny becomes desperate to find a date another wrinkle complicated matters even more: Bart, the biggest loser in school, has secured a date and a hotel room. Can Danny find a date before the big night or will his high school experience be ruined because he can’t find a date to prom?
Sound familiar? It should because this plot has been mined so many times that it could have its own awards show every year. So finding a new take on this story is no small feat but writer/director Brian Hecker manages to find the heart of the story without being overly dramatic. Sure, there are a few moments that tug at the heart strings but for the most part this is a very enjoyable movie about
I cannot write about this movie without mentioning William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines. Their roles as Danny’s divorced parents are the high point of this flick. Macy especially turns out a superb performance in a role that he could have easily phoned in. But instead he really finds his character and the love that Ernie Stein has for his son comes through in every word he says and every action he takes to help Danny find a date and have the best prom night he can.
The one big problem this movie has is Bart (Chad Jamian Williams). He is the running joke of the movie and seems to be the cause of Danny’s stress. But once we finally meet Bart all the “Bart got a room” hyperbole lands with a thud. The fact that Bart is such a loser apparently has no bearing on him being able to get a hot prom date.
The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen in standard definition. The film is low budget so you get low budget video for the most part. Colors look fine including all fo the pastels. There is a heavy layer of grain, worse in some parts than in others, but overall a nice looking indie film.
Dolby Surround 5.1. is, like hte video, basic in nature. It’s front loaded so everything comes from the center speaker but the film is well mixed with the dialoug always coming through loed and clear.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
With straight to DVD movies you never expect to get much in the way of bonus features and you don’t really get any with this release. The special features consist of the theatrical trailer and a production notebook. If those features seem bland then the packaging is a cardboard, literally.
Overall (Not an Average) 6/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 2/10
Overall (Not an Average) 6/10