20 March 2016
- Last edited 20 March 2016
Room (2015) starts 7 years after a traditional RomCom ends. We aren't subjected to the familiar Will They/Won't They genre-driven tropes, because it's already happened: they've fallen in love, moved in together, and are now settled into their traditional, gender assigned roles. She is the Stay-At-Home-Mom, and he is the Breadwinner. Both are beginning to begrudge their roles.
She, played impeccably by Brie Larsson, has become super-dependent on her Man, almost to the degree that it makes him seem controlling. This is not a modern, working, parent, this is a slobbish, lazy woman, either not willing or not capable of making any effort to support herself. Anything she wants, she expects her Man to supply, and he better bring it quick, and it better meet her specifications!
He (Sean Bridgers) is clearly tired of this, and is struggling to keep up with her demands. We get the sense that money is stretched thin, and that a breaking point is coming.
The third character in this play, and possibly a metaphor for their relationship, is their son, Jack (played by the super-annoying Jacob Trimblay). He has been completely smothered by his Mom, and is now having gender confusion issues. This is exacerbated when his Mom starts to use him as a weapon in her relationship. She poisons him against his father, telling his all sorts of frightful stories, and completely demonising the only positive male role model in his life. She clearly wanted a daughter, and if she can't get one by birth, she's determined to get one by proxy.
Finally, the husband's financial difficulties result in a temporary loss of utilities, and his wife immediately abandons him and goes to live with her parents. Taking their son with her, natch. Fkn gold-digger.
The movie then makes a neat switch; it becomes all about the boy's gender issues: Will he stay as a girl, as his mother demands, or will he get a haircut, and become a Man, like his father?
I won't spoil how it ends, but given then overall mysogynist tone of this movie, you can probably guess!
I would give this movie 2 bones out of 5! It had some neat ideas, but I think they could've made the female character more sympathetic, and being the super-romantic that I am, I still think it would've been more satisfying if our two lovers had got back together at the end RIP