Review: ONE BEDROOM Needed To Be Tidied Up

FIRST IMPRESSION

Despite a compelling premise, One Bedroom doesn't work because of uninspired directing, lackluster character development, and humor that falls flat.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

One Bedroom, written, directed by, and starring Darien Sills-Evans, is a new romantic comedy film that hopes to explore and tackle deeper issues. However, the movie ultimately falters because Sills-Evans is unable to effective balance comedy, character development, and evaluation of its themes.

The film depicts the end of a multi-year relationship as the two people argue and reminisce over better days in their relationship. On paper, this sounds like a compelling premise that would offer the potential for interesting commentary on relationships and modern dating. However, much of the potential that this movie has is wasted in a script that is distractingly messy.

One of the most frustrating things about this film is that the structure is entirely too convoluted. The movie has three portions: the break-up of the two characters, flashbacks to earlier points in their relationship, and the protagonist telling the story of the break-up to his buddies in a barber shop. The latter of those three storylines is entirely unnecessary and feels like filler. The other two, while both necessary, are cut between each other too frequently to be effective.

Additionally, one of the reasons why this film doesn’t work is that the characters are pretty annoying. It is hard to feel bad for either of them because they are written in a way that makes them feel completely incompatible. There are a few moments in which their relationship is slightly compelling, all of which are during the flashbacks, but they are nowhere near enough to make you want them to stay together.

one bedroom barber

The actors do a solid enough job in their roles — it’s just a shame that you can’t like them because their characters aren’t likable. Sills-Evans’s confidence is admirable and almost makes the character believable if the dialogue didn’t feel so forced. His chemistry with co-star Jade Johnson isn’t particularly impressive, although this may be more the fault of the script than the actors themselves.

The use of comedy isn’t satisfying either. In fact, the comedy is outright detrimental to the film at times. Every time there is a scene that seems like it may actually become honest and emotionally resonant, there is a joke and that emotional beat is destroyed. What makes this so disappointing, though, is that the humor isn’t even funny. If the movie had been able to consistently get laughs, it could have been partially forgiven for its lack of resonance, but as is, it fails at both.

On a technical level, the film is also frustrating. Although much of the look and feel can be attributed to the movie’s obviously micro-budget and independent nature, there are some aspects of the execution, such as the production design that could (and should) have been better. For a film that is predominantly set in a single location, precious little is done to explore or utilize that space.

One Bedroom is an extremely frustrating movie. It is obvious that Sills-Evans had ambitious and noble intentions, but sadly, the film is weighed down by lackluster character development and unfunny and poorly-timed humor.

One Bedroom is now on DVD and VOD.

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Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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