Bart Got a RoomClosed Captioning
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Bart got a room — a hotel room — and he's booked it for senior prom night. Though the title character of Bart Got a Room only appears in one brief scene towards the end of the film, it's his uber-geek specter that hangs over writer-director Brian Hecker's comedy, a semi-autobiographical ode to teenage angst. The plot is centered on the hopelessly dateless Danny (Steven Kaplan), a gawky band nerd who must decide between taking his best friend, Camille (Alia Shawkat), to the prom, and attempting to woo the date of his dreams, a pretty blonde cheerleader. Along the way he endures derision and peer pressure from friends, as well as uncomfortably frank advice from his divorced parents, played by Cheryl Hines and William H. Macy. Set in the geriatric environs of terminally sunny south Florida, Danny's world offers constant reminders of the road he's headed down should he not solidify this one life-defining event: Macy's Ernie grapples with loneliness by seeking women in chat rooms, while Hines's Beth sees relationships as a shortcut to financial security.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 37
- Fresh: 26
- Rotten: 11
- Average Rating: 6.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: A teenage comedy with an old-fogy scent.
Fresh: Much sweeter and less raunchy than coming-of-agers such as Superbad or Slums of Beverly Hills, Bart's clever, PG-level innuendo is engaging and suitable for family viewing.
Fresh: Kaplan has that lean, awkward look of a colt still finding its footing, which suits Danny, and he does a good job with giving his character the naivete and desperation of a kid hoping to change what seems to be the "loser" setting of his life.
Fresh: Bart has enough laughs to snare a distributor and decent-sized audiences.
Nice indie comedy!
Nice indie comedy! Funny and different. Nice acting. Definitely worth watching.
he had me at hello
Director/Writer Brian Hecker's indie breakout film BART GOT A ROOM is sweet and not with so much angst as to become derivative, neurotic or self-absorbed. I like that our protagonist — Danny — is nerdy, but not painfully nerdy, just uncomfortably nerdy in an honest way (and it was such a relief the movie wasn't a sell-out, or raunchy like American Pie).
I have long sought finding my own "WHEN HARRY MET SALLY" script and while I watched HECKER's film, I kept thinking about Danny's BFF relationship with Camille, her feeling like the consolation prize, and then the bittersweet denouement
(thankfully in HECKER's story, it only took Danny a month to realize she was the one to create the sweet everlasting memory with, instead of Harry taking decades with Sally).
Also, I love the geriatric undertones and subliminal intergenerational disconnect (especially son enduring dad doing the passion sound level test at new beach place and the elderly neighbor coming to welcome him, then silently backing away – watch the movie and you'll understand this!).
Other quick/first impressions & thoughts:
• can feel the anticipation build of being dateless at the prom
• really fun music
• good/even pacing, story, directing, editing
• terrific casting and cameos
• heartfelt semi-autobiographical nuances
• Danny's journey a joy to watch
• the quirky/cute Danny character felt authentic, not pathetic, nor one-dimensional.
• as always, Macy is a gem, and one of my personal Coen Repertory faves — Mr Jon Polito — shines in his cameo, too.
This bittersweet semi auto-biographical story had me at HELLO…
BOTTOM LINE: Director/Writer Brian Hecker shows us he can do great solid work.
I look forward to seeing what other stories he tells to us.