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Posts Tagged ‘minka kelly’

Psych 101: Doppelgangers and Depictions of Disorders in “The Roommate”

In gender on October 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Sarah Todd

This past weekend, my friend Christine and I watched The Roommate, a deeply baffling movie about a pretty young stalker who stalks other pretty people who look just like her, for no reason the film cares to clarify.

Like 99% of people who saw the movie (rough estimate), we were watching mostly because Leighton Meester—aka our Lady of Headbands and Bon Mots, Blair Waldorf—plays the lovely stalker Rebecca. Hilariously, early on the movie hints that Rebecca is evil in the following ways:

•    She does not like going out to clubs
•    She would like to be called Rebecca, not Becky

Truly chilling stuff. Why Sarah (Minka Kelly) doesn’t realize that her college roommate is bad news from the get-go is a mystery.

Lurkers Love Abstract Paintings

But The Roommate has plenty of other mysteries as well, most of them unintentional. For one thing, according to The Roommate, mental and emotional disorders are nefarious and unknowable, not unlike Mordor. When Rebecca’s mother asks Sarah if her daughter has been “taking her medication,” alarm bells immediately go off for Sarah. Pills are scary, like modern art and full names. Sarah googles the name of the medication and it turns out that Rebecca has… something. (Schizophrenia? Manic-depression? Lisztomania? It could be anything.)  This vague approach is patently ridiculous, but it’s also part of a long tradition of demonizing and mystifying such disorders in film. (Check out Bitch Media’s excellent “We’re All Mad Here” series for much more on this subject.) Read the rest of this entry »